Attorney General Kelekeni Kaphale has said government will ask High Court toorder People’s Party (PP) acting president Uladi Mussa to pay miner Michael Saner about K7 billion for being reckless in the manner he handled the issu by ignoring advice to renew the miner’s licence.
Saner was issued a three-year renewable licence number EPL NO 086/200 to carry out a mining activity at Kangankunde in Balaka.
The licence’s expiry date was May 13 2003 and on November 25 2002, Saner submitted an application to Mussa, who was then Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs, for renewal but it was not renewed.
The miner sued Malawi government and the High Court ordered government to pay him $100 million (about K6.9 billion) which included cost of action and interest.
But Attorney General Kaphale said the PP acting president will be liable to pay the money because he acted “with impunity, ignored legal advice by my office and the office of a private law practice contracted by my office informing him that he could not refuse to renew the licence without following due process and without citing a valid or justifiable reason.”
Kaphale affidavit dated May 11 2016 is quoted in press newspaper that Uladi’s decision not to renew the licence was in breach of his fiduciary duties under Section 12(ii) of the Constitution to only exercise his power to the extent of his lawful authority.
According to the Attorney General, Mussa as a public officer administering the Mines and Minerals Act, had a duty to accord all licence holders lawful and procedurally fair administrative action that was justifiable in relation to reasons given where their rights, freedom and legitimate expectations or interests were affected or threatened.
He said the then minister refused to renew Saner’s exclusive prospective licence and, in breach of his express statutory duty, gave him no reasons for the refusal and this did not even accord him a hearing contrary to the dictates of Section 43 of the Constitution and Section 50 of the Mines and Minerals Act.
But Mussa has accused government, saying they are trying all they can to derail political journey , saying he cannot be liable for a decision he made as a Cabinet minister.
He said DPP government is “busy fishing out what can destroy me.”
Adding: “The DPP is not having sleepless night with me being acting leader of PP. They know I will take them head on.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :