Lawyer Chokhotho accuses Marshal Chilenga of trying to make him abuse his duties

Private-practice lawyer Tamando Chokotho,  who represented Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in the Constitutional Court  presidential election petition case of 2019  has reported to Malawi Law Society (MLS) that he is receiving intimidation threats and attempts to wrongfully influence him to abuse his duties as regards to subsequent developments in the case.

Lawyer Tamando Chokhotho has written Malawi Law Society
Marshal Chilenga

Written on September 17, Chokotho said after receiving orders on August 10 and 12 from the High Court Registrar’s office on assessment of costs related to the election case with instructions to seek review of the costs, he was then communicated to that he should ignore the review process and proceed to pay.

Chokotho alleges that this communication was from lawyer Khumbo Bonzoe Soko through a text message sent on August 27 between 19:42hrs and 21:23hrs that read: “Ankolo…perekani dollar izizi za ma review izi ticedwa nazo” (uncle, pay the money. We will just waste time with this review process).

Chokotho claims he ignored the message and proceeded to file the review application in accordance with the instructions from MEC, his client.

He then alleges that on September 8 at around 18:00hrs, he received a call from another lawyer, Marshal Chilenga, who also asked him to drop the review proceedings and just pay.

He said when he enquired from Chilenga if his client was then willing to enter a compromise, Chilenga is alleged to have declined.

“He then started making threats saying that he will have the Commissioners pay costs on review personally,” says the report to MLS president, copied to the Chief Justice, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Blantyre Police Station and MEC.

“I told him that was not possible as the Supreme Court had not directed that the Commissioners should bear the costs personally [and that] the Reigistrar would not have powers to make an order contrary to the Supreme Court’s decision.

“I was shocked when Counsel Chilenga started raising his voice at me and said that the Commissioners would pay costs personally if they keep on bringing ‘stupid’ and ‘useless’ applications.

“The language used lacked professional courtesy and the tone was of a raised voice which prompted me to tell Counsel Chilenga that I would not take kindly to threats.

“I firmly asked him to do his part properly while I do mine. While he denied threatening me, he continued to do so until we cut the line.”

Chokotho further said the hearing of the review went ahead on September 15 at the High Court in Lilongwe and the matter was adjourned on account that he was only served with some voluminous documents the previous day.

“However, the Registrar ruled favourably on one of the applications that I had made for the parties to bring their solicitor-own-client bills for assessment by the court.”

Chokotho then alleges that he received another call from Chilenga on September 17 around 12:49hrs, who first asked him what he thought of the ruling requiring the submission of solicitor-own-client bills of costs.

“I explained that the ruling is in line with the principle of indemnity which guides costs and that I am happy to submit my fee note.

“Counsel Chilenga then snapped at me and said that I am wrong and has always been wrong. I responded that it is for the precise reason that we are not agreeing that we will go to court to determine who is right.”

“However, Counsel Chilenga then said, ‘we feel that the decision of the Supreme Court was wrong. We should somehow find a way to get out of it. We can’t be reviewing the decision of the Court now but it is wrong’.”

Chokotho claims that he told Chilenga that he would comply with the court order and at this point, he alleges that Chilenga is said to have threatened him that if he proceeded with being uncooperative “there would be consequences”.

“He said that he had been sent to warn me. At first I laughed off the threat and I was shocked when Counsel Chilenga then started raising his voice and kept repeating that he had been sent to warn me and he emphasized on the fact that he had been sent.

“Despite asking him who exactly had sent him to warn me, Counsel Chilenga merely said, ‘You have been warned! There will be consequences’. He did not disclose who had sent him to threaten me and what consequences were being threatened.

“Following the telephone conversation with Counsel Chilenga, I feel that there is a threat to my person, property or business as I am not aware with hom Counsel Chilenga has conspired with and what they have conspired to do with me.

“I am of the view that such conduct is unethical and totally unacceptable,” said Chokotho in the report.

He added that he has copied the letter to the Chief Justice as he does not wish to appear as if he wants to influence the decision of the Registrar to whom the letter should have been addressed.

He also says says he copied to the Officer-in-Charge of Blantyre Police and the ACB Director General as he is of the view that as a public officer, by virtue of section 3 of the Corrupt Practises Act, he is under a duty to report any attempt to use one’s influence on him with the aim he should misuse his public office.

“I trust that this matter shall be treated with utmost urgency as the matter is ongoing and I would appreciate if such threats against me are stopped and an enquiry is made to establish who exactly is sending Counsel to make threats against me,” Chokotho concluded.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Sharing is caring!

1 1 vote
Article Rating
30 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Concerned citizen
Concerned citizen
1 month ago

The EC should just pay the costs and should learn a lesson that legal costs are high; therefore, should avoid making costly mistakes. Legal services are costly and this case involved many counsels, they spent many hours in the chambers for almost a year. The case attracted the services of Senior Counsel(s), highly experienced Counsels whose services are normally high. Chokhotho himself and his team should be reminded that they applied delaying tactics, thinking that the case would become stale and eventually die naturally. They wanted the case to be thrown out on technicalities, they listed thousands of witnesses even… Read more »

Wawo
Wawo
1 month ago

A Chokhotho ndinu munthu wadyera osakonda dziko kanu, you are looking for sympathy but you won’t get it from good willing Mslawians.

Atokwene
Atokwene
1 month ago

Chilenga lawyer wakuba pa Malawi pano and hule lakutha ntchito. Kwasala tikuimitse ku mpingo wathu ukutichititsa manyazi zedi. Kupereka chakhumi ndi ndalama zakuba usiye. Palibe kupereka ndalama zimenezo ai . Chokhotho don’t bow down. Ndalamazo ndi zathu a Malawi. We know behind Chilenga there is Hamdan Saulosi Arafati Chilima . Nacho chitsiru cha munthu pamalawi pano mbala yaikulu. Don’t pay i repeat . Atsogoleri adyera ngati awa Ife ai . Tionana 2025 Tonse Alliance will go and all monies we shall recover from Hamdan ndi Lazaro wouka frokm Ku manda

Banda 2
Banda 2
1 month ago

One would expect that a reasonable payment would have made for daily requirement as there is no doubt Courts ordered MEC to pay Chilima’s Costs. Balance held until reviewed. No doubt these lawyers will request additions with such delays compensation in the form of interest payments for the long wait since June to receive even a partial payment. 7 Billion for all services of the lawyers is excessive for even lawyers living and practicing in Malawi.

bararabarara
bararabarara
1 month ago

Chilenga ndi mbava yachabechabe!

InsideSource
1 month ago

Greedy idiot! Why should you wish to derail the route of justice for personal reasons. Would I be off track to assume with reasonable doubt that this is a well organised scheme to defraud government with the Judiciary.There is a stake for some greedy judges in this loot..Mmene akondera ziphuphu Dingiswayo Madise sidzingatheke osagwapo!

Mwini muzi
1 month ago

Clearly shows that the bill charged is not relevant to the services rendered. Blame it on both the concourt and the supreme court for living it an open cheque. Questions we ordinary citizens are asking are: if the petitioners had lost, would they have paid the same to the lawyers? We’re all the lawyers representing them found themselves at the court at all the times the court was in motion to determine each to be paid per hour for all the hours in motion?

Last edited 1 month ago by Mwini muzi
nyarugwe
nyarugwe
1 month ago
Reply to  Mwini muzi

””íf they had lost” ”if they had won” “if………
Just deal with the facts.

Rex
Rex
1 month ago

Iwe tangolipira. Don’t try to buy sympathy. Umanga review yachaninso. You are one of the useless lawyers who defended MEC and DPP thieves. Kaphale nayenso asawone ngati kuti sitikudziwa zoti ndalama anatenga Ku boma kuti apatse ma lawyer a Ku SA anagawana pakati.

Lumbani
Lumbani
1 month ago

why are they avoiding scrutiny???

Jah
Jah
1 month ago

Guys bwanji kuyankhula zinthu zoti you don’t know. Mbala izi mukuti ma lawyer awa the bill is just too much and MEC has the right to appeal

shares
Read previous post:
Mike Msungama slapped with court order to pay back Chacha $47 200 with interest, legal costs

High Court commercial division judge Annabel Mtalimanja has ordered Lilongwe-based  businessperson and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) official Mike Msungama  Phiri...

Close