Malawi Law Society objects South Africa lawyers’ admission: K600m fees ‘exorbitant’

Malawi Law Society (MLS) is fiercely objecting to the hiring of South African lawyers by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in the presidential election appeals case.

Lawyers Kaukonde (L) and Mpaka: MLS submits to court that financial transaction involved in the hiring of the South African lawyers should be declared illegal.

In an executive memorandum to members, honorary secretary Martha Kaukonde says MLS has raised four grounds of objection to the admissions of the South African lawyers; Dumisa Buhle Ntsebeza and Elizabeth Makhanani Baloyi Mere.

“The procuring entity appears not to have complied with the Public Procurement Act when engaging the foreign counsel,” she says.

She says the Electoral Commission did not comply with the Public Finance Management Act, Regulations and Constitutional guidelines when hiring the foreign lawyers.

“The agreement to pay the sum of US$788, 300 appears not to be in line with the prescription of fair and reasonable charges prescribed under the Legal Education and Legal Practitioners Act and Rules,” says Kaukonde.

MLS vice-chairperson Patrick Mpaka said the Public Procurement and Disposal Assets Authority failed to justify why MEC was allowed to use single source procurement in the recruitment of the lawyers.

He also said MEC failed to provide proof of funding, as the procurement entity, prior to hiring the foreign lawyers and did not comply with Public Finance Management Act.

“Section 23 of the [Public Finance Management] Act prohibits expenditure where there is no parliamentary appropriation, which us a reiteration of Section 173 of the Constitution, which also prohibits drawing money from the Consolidated Fund without parliamentary appropriation,” reads the MLS submission in part.

The lawyers’ body has asked court that the financial transaction involved in the hiring of the South African lawyers should be declared illegal.

MLS also argues that the K600 million billing for the South African lawyers is “exorbitant and unreasonable.”

The body also says that in the wake of the coronavirus disease, the engagement of the foreign lawyers pose a public health risk to all parties concerned given the lawyers will be coming from one of the hotspots of the disease.

These objections are contained in detailed affidavits and skeleton arguments that have been filed with the court and Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda is examining.

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Noxy
1 year ago

MLS Job Security at its best.So provide best Lawyers for MEC.If it was not corona virus I would have suggested you allow those RSA lawyers to showcase so that we can learn from outside Lawyers, athuwa tawamva kokwanira.

Lozani
Lozani
1 year ago
Reply to  Noxy

So for you, sidelining the all the Financial Acts that have been outlined is not an issue? The Procurement Act is not an issue?

Nicholas
Nicholas
1 year ago

Mbava mbava singing it loud.

Charles
Charles
1 year ago

There are many very competent Malawian lawyers who got their post graduate qualifications abroad. Just because they are from RSA does not make them better than our local lawyers! In fact our lawyers know our laws better. You will see the showdown that will be there if the foreign lawyers will come at all. They (RSA lawyers) will fail miserably. Time will tell.

Thumbwe boy
1 year ago

Brutum ubongo wako wa munthu wa bakha

Hope
Hope
1 year ago

This is another stalemate. If MLS is rejecting foreign lawyers and Lawyers in Malawi will not represent MEC. Basitu palibe kuvota until a solution is reached. I am started to believe that these court issues will delay everything and the only ones really benefiting are the MPs. Cry my country

Banda
Banda
1 year ago

Democracy is expensive. MEC needs to be represented by the best lawyers.

Ikbal osman
Ikbal osman
1 year ago
Reply to  Banda

Not at taxpayers expense when some hospitals do not have basic drugs

Lozani
Lozani
1 year ago
Reply to  Banda

You can have whichever lawyers you can afford or rather the government can afford. Government does not just buy anything the way you and I buy. That is why government has laws to govern the way government shops for anything as little as pens and pencils. Procurement Act guides government to find the best supplier of good and services, lawyers included by comparing who has the best price, best product, etc. Also, and this is huge, the act provides visibility. Example, if you are seeking to buy a good or service, you cannot just talk to a friend and say… Read more »

Phiri
Phiri
1 year ago

Malawi needs 1st Grade lawyers not the half-baked ones that we have in the country
.

John Kachapira
John Kachapira
1 year ago

This hiring has Kaphale all over the place. These dpp guys are mafias. Do not assume that this process is a one band man. Actually even if they do not come, money will be paid. It is issues like these that ACB should be working on. Its fraud at the highest level. Kaphale had his interest in the constitutional court. He was protecting himself. Ticheza pa Malawi after elections. People will not have peace!! A Malawi tikuvutika inu kumaba chonchi. Zachisoni….

Omex70
Omex70
1 year ago

Bravo MLS! This is what we have been waiting for. Malawi should not allow Jane Ansah to waste our resources in an effort to save her face and her master.

Mbonga Matoga
Mbonga Matoga
1 year ago

Both the concourt and parliament found MEC incompetent, what more evidence does Malawians need to agreed with the concourt and parliament verdict on MEC. The lady Jezebel Ansah only rose to be a judge at the Supreme Court through sexually transmitted promotions…..how on earth can a learned judge be so incompetent. She is very arrogant and childish like someone who has never been to school…..how can she authorise MEC to hire lawyers from abroad without following government procurement procedures? Her partisan mindset has ruined and soiled her career for good……she will go down in Malawi’s history as the most incompetent… Read more »

K.kagalu.
K.kagalu.
1 year ago
Reply to  Mbonga Matoga

You are right, we have people who can do better than lawyers in this Country, people who have natural Justice not these idiots.

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