Tit-for-tat Yeremiah Chihana sues DPP, Dausi for K200m: Hires lawyer Wapona

Property evaluator Yeremia Chihana has reacted to the threats of opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to sue him by hiring lawyer Wapona Kita to counter sue the party and its spokesperson Nicholas Dausi for defamation demanding a combined compensation of up to K200 million (about $500 000).

DPP last week threated to sue Chihana – valuer of the estate of former Malawi president the late Bingu wa Mutharika- for “defamatory propaganda” against Mutharika’s family on his deceased estate.

Government through Commissioner for Tax contracted Chihana of YMW Property Investment Limited and Registered Property Evaluator to assess Mutharika’s real estate, shares and stocks, bank balances, chattels and other assets, all for tax purposes.

In a sworn affidavit, Chihana said the former head of state accumulated K61billion within eight years in office and that DPP present leader Professor Peter Mutharika had joint accounts with him outside the country.

Yeremiah Chihana: Sues DPP, Dausi for defamation

Yeremiah Chihana: Sues DPP, Dausi for defamation

Dausi said at a DPP news conference in the capital, Lilongwe last week, that Chihana’s valuing of Mutharika’s property as worth K61 billion (about $152m), was guided by anger and malice against Mutharika to settle a political score.

He said: “It is an unfortunate and unfair political game. The final goal of the exercise is to weaken and disable the Honourable Professor Peter Mutharika and the DPP.”

Lawyer  Kita said Dausi and DPP statement insinuated that Chihana is a liar and malicious.

Kita said the statement “has lowered our client’s esteem in the minds of well-meaning citizens.”

The lawyer said  in a letter addressed to Dausi and DPP registered trustees,  which remarks that “our [DPP’s] conclusion, therefore, is that the affidavit he swore is based on fictitious facts. It is false, callous and malicious”; puts Chihana as a person who lied under oath.

According to Kita, only the courts that can declare if someone lied under oath and not party and personal statements.

The lawyer said  Chihana is also demanding that Dausi and DPP retract the statement and apologise in public within 72 hours from on Wednesday.

While the DPP challenged Chihana to produce “notarized copies on official letterheads of all the banks he has listed on the so-called accounts of the late president” within five days from July 18, 2013.

DPP also discredited Yeremiah Chihana, that he is not credible to do a valuation report of the late president’s estate, saying  in 2005  (during late Mutharika’s rule) he was convicted by the courts of unlawful wounding.

“This bitterness is now being directed at the family after Bingu’s death. The K61 billion figure is purely fictitious.”

DPP said the K61 billion Mutharika’s wealth is based on an affidavit filed by Chihana, saying he stands to benefit enormously as valuators are normally paid a percentage of the total value of an estate.

Chihana is being challenged also to produce official records of the so-called properties held by the late Mutharika in the countries he listed.

Meanwhile, Dausi said it will be good to face Chihana  in court so that he “explain to the nation with evidence that he was authorised to get into Bingu’s estate “.

Bingu wa Mutharika died of cardiac arrest on Aoril 5, 2012.

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