K300m already paid to MEC’s South African lawyers ‘for no work done’

It has emerged that the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) made a half-down payment of  K300 million to its  hired South African lawyers  to help in the elections appeal case and will complete the balance as it still wants them as  backroom legal team despite their admission to Malawi bar being rejected by Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda.

MEC lawyer David Matumika Banda prepared all the skeleton arguments on the appeal  with help of  private practice lawyer Tamanda Chokhotho

MEC  hired  Mboweni Maluleke Inc Attorneys  of South Africa for the election appeal case at a staggering  $788 000 (about K600 million) million on public funds.

The controversial contract for the procurement of legal services had that the South African lawyers get payment of the 50 percent which was dully processed.

The payment was made when all the skeleton arguments on the appeal  has been done by MEC’s in-house lawyer David Matumika Banda with help by private practice lawyer Tamanda Chokhotho under the guidance of the commission’s chairwoman Justice Jane Ansah.

According to  published reports on March 13 2020 Treasury expressed ignorance of the procurement of legal services of two South African lawyers – Dumisa Buhle Ntsebeza and Elizabeth Makhabani Baloyi-Mere – at public expense.

Youth and Society organisation recently asked  MEC to confirm what Ansah said on March 13 2020 that the electoral body was paying Attorney General  Kalekeni Kahale fees for handling the election case on its behalf as government’s chief legal advisor.

Ansah said this in Blantyre during the National Elections Consultative Forum (Necof) meeting attended by political party representatives and other electoral stakeholders.

“Democracy is not cheap. They are the same costs the Attorney General [Kalekeni Kaphale] was getting when he was representing the Commission in the case,” she told the gathering when answering a question.

YAS asks Kaphale to “confirm or deny this.”

The organisation has indicated that in the event that he was receiving the payment and that it is illegal and improper, they demand Kaphale to return the money.

The electoral body declined to disclose how much it incurred on the presidential election case in relation to, among others, private legal services fees and other administrative costs.

In its demand letter dated February 18 2020, YAS requested MEC chief executive officer CEO Sam Alfandika to provide a breakdown of all expenditures incurred in the case, including unsettled bills, in the spirit of transparency and accountability of the commission.

Specifically, the CSO wanted a breakdown of costs the commission incurred on private legal services, administrative costs and costs associated with court orders awarding costs to other parties in the case.

In his response, the MEC CEO has told YAS that the commission is not under any obligation to share information on the costs on the basis that, among others, the CSO did not provide specific human rights that require information.

“You have not explained how the requested information is relevant to the exercise of political rights as provided under Section 40 of the Constitution,” reads part of the response dated March 3, 2020.

Alfandika says MEC is an independent corporate body that, for the purpose of accountability, is answerable and report directly to the President on the overall fulfillment of its functions and powers.

The letter further says MEC is under relevant provisions enjoined to keep proper books of accounts and its funds are also defined and managed in accordance with the Electoral Commission Act.

In the case, the commission wants the Supreme Court of appeal to overturn the Constitutional Court ruling that nullified the 2019 presidential polls and ordered MEC to hold fresh election.

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Mask
Mask
10 months ago

Maine taxi yangaine opitala mwanesa

Zamkhutu
Zamkhutu
10 months ago

Zinthuzi mumene zikuyendela zikusonyeza kuti awa a polofesa Pitala zoti anapanga law ndi zina chabe palibepo chomwe akusata za law ndithu.Zowona kulephera kupangako ka advice kanzeru kokhuzana ndi zamalamulo ata.

Kandulu
Kandulu
10 months ago

I did not know that cowardice can be this expensive until now. My son will be a lawyer, too many fools to swindle this days.

Mtambo
Mtambo
10 months ago

The half-baked Supreme Court judges have feared 1st Class lawyers from South Africa. These Tumbuka judges and lawyers amazipopa but ndi madeya. From Chief Justice, corrupt and incompetent fools.

Phiri
Phiri
10 months ago
Reply to  Mtambo

Cadet akumva pheni. Munazolowera zidule mwakumana nazo. Kumasata malamulo

Omex70
Omex70
10 months ago
Reply to  Mtambo

Kadet iwe uphulika chaka chino chifukea ndiye yakuona litsiro heavy.

Tembo
Tembo
10 months ago

It is the fault of our corrupt Supreme Court judges led by Chief Justice.

Ochakwera
Ochakwera
10 months ago
Reply to  Tembo

Kulira kwa ma cadet. Nyekhwe!! Kumasata malamulo apumbwa inu

Cara
Cara
10 months ago

There is no problem paying these lawyers. Chief Justice broke MEC’s contract with the SA lawyers, hence, as a country we have to pay them.

Wawo
Wawo
10 months ago
Reply to  Cara

😁😁kulira kwa a pumbwa

Hannah
Hannah
10 months ago

The South African lawyers wanted to work. The corrupt Chief Justice and Supreme Court has stopped them from working. So, they need to be paid.

Ochakwera
Ochakwera
10 months ago
Reply to  Hannah

Lamulo ndi lamulo basi iwe cadet.

In Darkness Democracy Dies
In Darkness Democracy Dies
10 months ago

No one but the government of old age Pensioner Mutharika, who has lost his hearing a President whom we Malawians fail to understand when he speaks as he mumbles, has arranged a corrupt deal with these South African lawyers. How does a government pay $788,000 in advance. How? Lawyers are not paid up front certainly not by government. Is this a corrupt deal for Ansah for services rendered to the old age Pensioner President? Enough is enough Muthartika is an unelected;ected President, an imposter who is occupying Sanjika Palace as President he must go and go now.

Super power
Super power
10 months ago

This is misprocurement and taxpayers funds must be returned if not recovered from the controlling officer in this case Chairperson of MEC personally

Hannah
Hannah
10 months ago
Reply to  Super power

Blame the Chief Justice.

Ochakwera
Ochakwera
10 months ago
Reply to  Hannah

Blame you ndi phuma lopanda nalo manyazi

Kennedy
Kennedy
10 months ago

Lord my god please help us by taking these evil people

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