Malawi: Govt Bargains Buleya Lule Compensation to K45m From K80m

15 September 2021

The family of Buleya Lule - a man who was arrested in connection with his alleged involvement in the abduction of a boy with albinism, but died under mysterious circumstances in police custody in February 2019 - will finally get K45 million in compensation after government has negotiated it down from K80 million.

Government admitted liability in the death of Lule after investigations into his death established that he was murdered.

During a court hearing, Lule had denied involvement.

"We negotiated and I pegged the amount at K80 million which they still rejected and settled for K45 million," George Kadzipatike, lawyer for the deceased's family, is quoted as saying in the local press.

He added: "The State initially made an offer of K35 million, but was increased to about K45 million after bargaining."

Nyasa Times has learnt that in spite of government offering the K45 million over two months ago, it was yet to sign a consent order that would direct issuance of payment.

"If government does not sign the order, the family will take the matter to court for assessment of damages," Kadzipatike said. "I wrote the office of the Attorney General to sign the consent, but it has not been signed. So, if they do not sign the option is to have the damages assessed by the court."

Apparently former Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe was supposed to sign the order but, unfortunately, his contract was terminated before he could do it.

Ministry of Justice spokesperson, Pilirani Masanjala, has said the government's new chief legal advisor, Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda, will sign it.

"The Attorney General [Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda] needs to look at the document first before making a decision," Masanjala said.

Lule's Widow, Charity, took government to court in August 2020 demanding compensation following the murder investigation and arrest of 13 police officers in July 2020.

She applied for summary judgement in the High Court in Lilongwe to award her compensation in which Lule's family demanded K331 million as compensation for loss of life and expectations that the family had from Lule as breadwinner.

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