The High Court in Lilongwe has today has condemned former President Peter Mutharika and former Chief Secretary Lloyd Muhara with costs in a case where the duo prayed to the court to review the legal costs they paid in another case.
The court had recently slapped Mutharika and Muhara with K69.5 million costs in a case in which the duo attempted to force Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and Justice Edward Twea to proceed on leave pending retirement.
In August last year, High Court judge Charles Mkandawire ruled that the two have no powers to send the judges on leave pending retirement saying doing so is interfering with roles of judiciary saying issue of leave is an internal issue for the judiciary.
“The executive arm of government has no powers to dictate affairs of judiciary as the judiciary is an independent arm of government and is equal to the executive and parliament,” he said.
The ruling followed an application by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), Malawi Law Society (MLS) and Association of Magistrates in Malawi (AMM) who sought for a court interpretation whether Mutharika and Muhura’s action was legally binding.
The court slapped the two with K69.5million as costs, which they felt was on the higher side and applied for a review.
In May this year, the two settled the bill after the High Court granted a property seizure and sell order.
Dissatisfied, the duo appealed to the same court for the review of the amount.
But again, the court did not smile at Mutharika and Muhara, with High Court Assistant Registrar Anthony Kapaswiche ordering that they pay K2.3million legal costs each within 30 days.