MEC lawyers paid K400m in elections case: No pay for Kaphale, South African lawyers

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) paid its legal team in the May 21 2019 presidential elections nullification case K400 million but neither the former Attorney general Kalekeni Kaphale  nor South African lawyers engaged for the appeal were not awarded the legal fees, according to records.

MEC director of legal services David Matumika Banda has given details of the payment through two invoinces
MEC was represented by private practice lawyer Tamando Chokotho

This is disclosed in a letter dated August 26 2020 addressed to South Africa-based Malawian professor of law, Danwood Chirwa, who asked the electoral body to furnish him with details of costs.

In the letter seen by Nyasa Times, MEC director of legal services David Matumika Banda said the electoral body paid K247.1 million for legal representation in the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional  Court and K155.7 million for the appeal matter in the Malawi Supreme Court.

“The commission did not pay any  deposits to the South African lawyers and has not paid any sum of money to the lawyers in respect to their engagement to represent the commission in the appeal.

“Counsel Dumisa Ntsebenza  SC was engaged to be part of the legal team as lead counsel. He was specifically required to come up with positions to be taken by the commission. He was required to review  the entire court record, prepare written submissions for use by the legal team in court.

“On the date set for hearing, he was expected to argue the appeal on behalf of the commission. His application to be admitted to practice in Malawi for this specific  case was not granted  by the Honourable Chief Justice of Malawi. Eventually, due to the Covid-19 preventive measures which were in place in both the Republic of South Africa and Malawi, Counsel Mtsebenza and his legal team failed to travel to Malawi,” read the letter in part.

The South African lawyers had given MEC a K600 million quotation.

While Kaphale, then Attorney General, in his capacity as government chief legal adviser, was not paid by MEC.

According to Matumika Banda, MEC engaged one legal firm , Churchill & Norris of private practice lawyer Tamanda Chokhotho and that it issued two invoiced which were honoured to the tune of K400 million.

While  MEC legal costs is at K400 million, lawyers for the petitioners – President Lazarus Chakwera and vice-president Saulos Chilima –  submitted a K9 billion legal costs bill, but the registrar of the High Court of Malawi and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, Agnes Patemba, trimmed it to K7 billion.

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Ray
Ray
9 months ago

Ma lawyer apa Malawi. Mbava basi. They steal even from simple Malawians

Parrot ku Parliament
9 months ago

But why are we allowing MEC to continue wasting our taxes like this when other important departments of Government are not being funded? And why are MEC officials always on the road chewing money in the name of seminars no matter how useless and senseless they may be? Why is MEC never monitored and checked? Is it because it serves the interests of politicians? MEC yanyanya kuseweretsa ndalama especially commissioners and senior officers like Alufandika.

Chizengezenge Chatonda
Chizengezenge Chatonda
9 months ago

Dear International Overseas Donor, see how your hard earned tax payers money is being spent by these idiots in Malawi. Sad still there are some half-witted nicompoops who are supporting these obscene payments. Make up your minds!

Mulanduwabakiliulowalitikudikila
Mulanduwabakiliulowalitikudikila
9 months ago

Akathyali

Alamu Pumani Mwakalamba

Why would Kaphale be paid? That was his job and that is what the office of the AG does. After ask Kaphale how much Mulli gave him from the K12 Billion that the two siphoned as damage for Mulli’s property during demos. Even CFAO in Lilongwe should claim. Was Mulli’s property insured through with the government? Why did he claim from the government?

Joseph Banda
Joseph Banda
9 months ago

nanunso tulo bwanji. information ikuti kaphale was not paid. so where is the argument? And how does Mulli come in here on legal fees pertaining to elections case? Umve wamu ubongo basi!!!

Mangaliso
Mangaliso
9 months ago

The legal fees have to to be charged on ratio of one attorney. Its not the number of lawyers that win a case, its the evidence before the court. So if tonse alliance had 30 lawyers, it means the fees due to one lawyer will be shared amongst the 30 lawyers for the joint effort. MEC should not pay for somebody’s 30 lawyers, where is justice in that?

BigMan
BigMan
9 months ago

Dont compare apples with oranges, how many lawyers or firms took part for SKC and LMC? How many Senior Counsels?

Journalists must provide details in the stories, dont be in a rush to publish half cooked stuff.

Mr Truth Pains
9 months ago

Jane Ansah told us live that Kaleken Kaphale was paid Mk600million the same amount South African legal form was looking for.
.
So don’t twist the information , we already know what transpired.

Angoni apaphata
Angoni apaphata
9 months ago

Koma chizungu chimalembedwa mu nkhani za pa nyasatimes ndi nyatwa.

Mwana wachewa
Mwana wachewa
9 months ago

Chikosa silungwe and Titus mvalo should resign immediately for fraudulent pricing on the services rendered to chilima and chakwera respectively. Patemba should also resign for approving the exorbitant fees. The Malawi bar association should also suspend the membership of these legal professionals.

Acb should prosecute the tonse alliance lawyers. We are tired of white collar theft whether by dpp or tonse alliance.

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