Malawi lawmaker Mughogho risks jail over contempt of court

Member of Parliament (MP) for Chitipa South (Nthalire) Chimango Mughogho risks going to prison following her negligence to obey court order to settle a debt amounting to K170, 000, Nyasa Times has established.

Mughogho in August this year was ordered by the First Grade Magistrates Court sitting in Chitipa to pay her former 2009 Parliamentary elections campaign chairperson, Alex Kayira money amounting to K170, 000 which she borrowed and used in her campaign.

The court ordered the Parliamentarian after she had failed in her attempt to have Kayira convicted in an alleged intimidation charge.

Case Background

According to information Nyasa Timeshas sourced, Mughogho last year reported Kayira to Chitipa police, claiming he wanted to kill her with a gun following the latter’s frequent reminder of her unsettled debt.

Mughogho: Ordered by court to pay

Kayira was arrested last year and remanded for 21 days at Chitipa prison before being granted bail. He was later acquitted by the Magistrates Court sitting at Chitipa in August this year on the charge of intimidation due to lack of evidence on the part of the complainant, Mughogho.

The court then proceeded to find Mughogho guilty of fabricating stories in order to evade paying Kayira his money, and was immediately ordered to honour the debt, which she agreed to.

She was ordered to settle the debt in four phases; August K50,000, September K50,000, October K50,000 with the remaining K20,000 paid in November.

Notice to Debtor

But three months after the court ruling, Mughogho has not paid the money, prompting Kayira to obtain a court order to enforce the payment.

The court order, under civil case number 191 of 2012, which Nyasa Times is in possession and dated November 5th, 2012, demands Mughogho to pay Kayira the money by November 15th (Thursday) failing which would be committed to prison.

“Take Notice that Alex Kayira will on 15th day of November 2012 apply to the Court for an order that you (Chimango Mughogho) be committed to prison for having wilfully neglected to comply with the order of court made herein the 31st day of October 2012 requiring you to pay K170, 000.00 inclusive costs,” reads the order signed by First Grade Magistrate, Julius Kalambo.

Reaction

In an interview, Mughogho while admitting the case referred it to who she described as her lawyer  named Emmanuel Chapo. Surprisingly Chapo could not pick the phone on several attempts Nyasa Times tried to talk to him.

“I have left that case in the hands of my lawyer, talk to him I will give you his number,” said Mughogho.

But in a separate interview Kayira wondered how a lawyer is involved in the case already concluded by the court, and expressed disappointment with how the MP has been handling the issue.

“I doubt if she will pay the money because since August there has been no sign that she will indeed honour the debt. And why involving a lawyer now when she actually agreed in court to pay the money? It’s already concluded case only that she is trying to delay justice,” Kayira explained.

The outspoken Kayira then accused the MP of trying to bribe him in order to settle the matter out of court.

“She came here and gave me three packs of OMO washing powder, money amounting to K1, 000 and two bags of cement thinking that will force me to pull the case out of court. I could not do that because she was the first one who took me to court because I demanded my money,” Kayira added.

ACB, two months ago started investigating Mughogho on reports that she forged MSCE qualification that belonged to her sister Wezzie currently outside the country in order to be eligible to contest in 2009 General Elections of which she won.

And just last month, the MP who defected to ruling People’s Party (PP) from DPP, was rocked in another controversy after PP’s Provincial Chairperson, Brown Soko imposed her on the constituents in Chitipa South (Nthalire).

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