Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) have been ordered by the Constitutional Court hearing the elections case to pay costs for inconveniencing other parties.
The five-judge panel led by Justice Healy Potani ordered Chakwera – the second petitioner – to pay K900 000 which will be shared K300 000 each to President Peter Mutharika, who is the first respondent, MEC and UTM Party president Saulos Chilima , who is first petitioner.
Chakwera has been punished for failing to submit supplementary sworn statement last Friday as ordered by the court, a move seen as aimed at delaying court proceedings contrary to resolutions that no party should file any more applications in the interest of expediting the case.
While the electoral body was also ordered to pay K200 000 as costs for filing an pplication seeking the court to issues a certificate of non compliance against the second petitioner after he had already submitted the documents on Saturday.
Legal experts Nyasa Times have talked to, says that the court may, at the end of the case, decide that a party that loses the case should pay a significant portion of the winner’s costs and remain responsible for their own (party-to-party costs) or each party may pay fees charged by their lawyers calculated on an hourly rate (solicitor-own-client cost) for the entire period.
They said an average cost of the case for private practice lawyers may be between K9 million and K18 million per day while Senior Counsels (SCs) could be earning K2.4 million for a day’s 8-hour court appearance.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :