25 October 2018

Malawi: 9 Judges At Supreme Court Hear Khato Case On Lilongwe-Salima Water Project

The Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal comprised of a bench of nine judges will Wednesday October 25 2018 hear an appeal by Youth and Society (YAS) and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) to replace Malawi Law Society (MLS) in the Salima- Lilongwe Water Project case.

MLS wanted the High Court to review a decision by Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) to award Khato Holdings a contract for the project before an Enviromental and Social Impact Assessment was done.

However, in October, single appeal judge Lovemore Chikopa dismissed the case stating all parties in the matter before the High Court ceased to exist upon the expiry or lapsing of the time MLS should have filed substantive summons for leave for judicial review.

But in an application to the Supreme Court, YAS executive director Charles Kajoloweka, through lawyer Bright Theu, argued that since Chikopa's decision, MLS has not taken any steps to have the matter prosecuted.

The civil society organisation also wanted the court to extend time within which to lodge the matter before a full court for the reversal, variation or setting aside of the decision of Justice Chikopa.

If the two CSOs succeed in the appeal, the matter will revert to the High Court of Malawi to determine the legality of the project as well as commencement of work without Enviromental and Social Impact Assessment report.

However, last week government signed a deal with a financier of the K400 billion Lilongwe -Salima Project, Trissag Espanola of South Africa identified by Khato.

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