Two civil society organisations – Youth and Society (YAS) and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) – whose application to replace Malawi Law Society (MLS) in the Salima- Lilongwe Water Project case has been dismissed by Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal will have to cough out an approximately of over K80 million as legal costs for their litigation.
Mzuzu-based YAS and CHRR will have to pay the amount which is 80% of the total legal costs of a case which they resurrected through a fresh application as ordered by the Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Lovemore Chikopa.
On November 15 and 24 this year YAS and CHRR filed an ex parte notice of motion with the Supreme Court to either join or substitute Malawi Law Society (MLS) who months ago obtained an injunction to stop Khato Civils from undertaking the Lake Malawi Water Supply project.
MLS wanted the High Court to review a decision by Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) to award Khato Holdings a contract for the project before an Enviromental and Social Impact Assessment was done.
However, both the Supreme Court of Appeal threw out MLS case for lack of understanding of the technicalities of the project.
In a ruling dated December 22 2017, Supreme Court of Appeal judge Lovemore Chikopa said the wishes of both CHRR and YAS have not been granted because at the time of making the application, whatever proceedings had existed between MLS and the respondents, Khato Holdings, had ceased to exist after leave had expired and there was no renewal.
YAS and CHRR also sought from the Supreme Court an extension of the time within which to lodge the matter before the full Court for the reversal, variation or setting aside of the decision of the single member, Justice Chikopa.
But Justice Chikopa said the application for extension of time cannot be granted as both YAS and CHRR have no standing to bring the application and are not yet to become parties to the proceedings in respect of whom the order was sought aside from the fact that they did not have a good reason on the basis of which extension could be granted.
Now that the application has been thrown out, the two organisations and their lawyer Bright Theu have to deal with settling of the huge amount.
Affidavits for YAS and CHRR were signed by Charles Kajoloweka and Timothy Mtambo respectively.
CHRR executive director Timothy Mtambo said they reserve theirt until they get a briefing from their legal counsel Theu
The recent ruling clears way for Lilongwe Water Board to proceed construction of the Lake Malawi Water Supply Project which has missed several deadlines due to court litigation.
Lake Malawi Water Supply project will upon completion pump, purify and move 100 cubic metres of water from Salima to Lilongwe City everyday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :