Former presidential aide Allan Ntata has hired lawyer Gustav Kaliwo to defend him in the defamation lawsuit filed by President Peter Mutharika over Ntata’s article which was posted on various media networks including social-media platform Facebook, and on Nyasa Times on June 22 this year, alleging the President is implicated in the K92 billion Cashgate.
Mutharika sued Ntata alongside online publication Nyasa Times.
The online publication has indicated that it intends to mount “a vigorous defence” and believe the matter will help the battle to fight wrongful self-enrichment in Malawi.
Nyasa Times will name its legal team in the matter this week.
Ntata, a lawyer by profession, said he has instructed lawyer Kaliwo, “to write to the lawyers representing the President to advise them that I am available and should deal with him on matters relating to this.”
Kaliwo has already written to James Masumbu, Mutharika’s lawyers, informing them on instructions he received from his client to represent him in the matter.
Ntata was legal adviser to the President’s elder brother, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, who ruled the country from 2004 until his death in April 2012.
In a lawsuit filed at the High Court in Blantyre, the President wants a court order to restrain Ntata and Nyasa Times from further publishing the issue of K92 billion Cashgate linked to the Bingu administration.
The President, according to the court record, said Ntata wrote on his Facebook page that a Mrs Sadiq of HTD allegedly defrauded government close to K20 billion on bogus purchases of motor vehicles and that President Mutharika is closely linked to and associated with HTD and the bogus payments could be linked to him.
Germany provided K9.76 billion for the audit exercise into the K92 billion which was prompted by a 2011 interim investigative audit report of government’s payment system—the Integrated Financial Management and Information System (Ifmis)—which revealed that ministries and departments may have lost about K577 billion through abuse and irregularities between 2009 and 2012.