24 June 2019

Malawi: Court Slaps CSOs Leader Kajoloweka With K21 Million Fine

After Attorney General Kelekeni Kaphale demanded K15 million from Youth and Society (YAS) executive director Charles Kajoloweka as costs for a case in which the latter sued President Peter Mutharika to fire his then Cabinet minister George Chaponda in connection with a controversial maize import deal in 2017, the Supreme Court of Appeal has ordered that the costs to be paid should be K21 million.

Kajoloweka: Decries the fine

Following the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal's judgment that there was no judicial provision giving the Judiciary the mandate to interfere in decisions of the presidency regarding appointment and removal of Cabinet members and the subsequent order that Kajoloweka should bear the costs of the proceedings, the Attorney Generak demanded K15 000 000 as party and party costs of the proceedings.

But Mzuzu-based Kajoloweka through his lawyers said he could only pay K500 000 since his organisation is non-profit making non-governmental organisation.

However, in its determination the Supreme Court of Appeal sitting in Lilongwe, through Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda ordered Kajoloweka to pay K21 million and that he personally bear all costs incurred during the case.

Kajoloweka said it was unfortunate that the court has put the burden of costs to an individual who was only fighting for a lot of people.

The civil appeal case number five of 2017 was between George Chaponda (first appellant) and the President (second appellant) versus Kajoloweka (first respondent), YAS (second respondent), CCAP Livingstonia Synod (third respondent) and Centre for the Development of People.

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