Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale has said government will challenge in court the K1.7 billion ($2.4 million) compensation claim lodged by President Peter Mutharika’s aide Symon Vuwa-Kaunda.
Vuwa- Kaunda, presidential adviser on national unity and parliamentary affairs, is claiming the compensation for loss of property during the July 20 2011 protests against former president Bingu wa Mutharika’s regime.
He is claiming K800 million from government as the police service failed to safeguard his private property in Katoto, Mzuzu, by not using relevant laws, laxity in crowd control and failing to detonate tear gas or to fire in the air to disperse the irate rioters.
The presidential aide is also has a separate lawsuit in which he is demanding almost K900 million ($1.3 million) for another house which suffered a similar tragedy in Lilongwe, his lawyer George Kadzipatike said, according to the local press.
But, Kaphale, has promised to challenge the matter in court like he did with the K2 billion claim made by Mulli Brothers whose property was vandalised by the rioters in Lilongwe.
A report in The Nation newspaper, lawyer for Vuwa, Kazipatike, accuses government of failing to protect property during the countrywide demonstrations.
He cited loss of use of the house and rentals worth about K150 000 a month and costs for reconstruction, saying: “We demand the sum should adequately compensate our client for the loss he has suffered.”
Kaunda was Minister of Information and Civic Education when armed police officers gunned down 20 unarmed protestors countrywide—the massacre which fanned violent scenes, with some citizens targeting property owned by public figures connected to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).