19 October 2018

Malawi: Govt to Seek Legal Advice After Court Ruling On Thin Plastic Paper Case

Lilongwe — The Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining is waiting for its legal team through Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to make a decision on the next action after losing the case of enforcing a ban of thin plastic papers against plastic producers.

In his verdict, Justice Healey Potani said the state failed to provide strong defense on why the stay of execution should not be granted, making the judgement to go in favour of the plastic producers.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) in Lilongwe, Ministry spokesperson Sangwani Phiri said the next move will be determined by their legal counsel team at Attorney Generals Chambers.

"Our lawyers are yet to tell and advise us to how they will handle the technical aspects of the case, they are our advisors. So the question of appealing still remains with our lawyers," said Phiri.

He added that they are committed to resuming enforcement of the ban on all production, importation and sell of thin plastic material which are less than 60 microns.

In a separate interview, Chairperson of the Malawi Parliamentary Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, Werani Chilenga said parliament is taking the matter to a British lawyer for appeal.

"It is sad that government has lost the case. As a committee, we will involve a UK lawyer. She is ready to be with the government side and defend this.

"The Judge based its Judgement on economic and investment view point forgetting the environmental impact. We will advocate for the appeal," Chilenga pointed out.

The case has been in the court file from June 30, 2015 when government banned the use, sell, production, exportation and importation of plastic bags of less than 60 microns.

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