Mulli loses court case, Chitakale winding up

The High Court in Zomba, Friday removed a stay obtained by Chitakale Plantations Limited stopping the hearing of a case where two Mulanje women are asking the High Court Commercial Division to wind up the company for failing to pay them about K26 million.

Chitakale Plantations Limited is owned by Leston Mulli, once a powerful businessman during the former regime of the late Bingu wa Mutharika.

Mary Woodworth and Lisineti Gremu petitioned the court following the company’s inability to pay the two K21 million (about $84 000) in legal fees and compensation after it lost a case the company was fighting with them over land.

High Court Judge Justice Godfrey Mwase ruled that Chitakale Plantations Limited got the initial injunction for judicial review improperly by failing to make a full and frank disclosure of material facts and legal considerations before the court.

Mulli: Loses court case on Chitakale

Chitakale Plantations lawyer Lusungu Gondwe of Ralph and Anorlds Law Firm rushed to Zomba to get an injunction stopping the hearing of the winding up case just two days before the hearing in Blantyre.

This did not go down well with High Court Judge for Commercial Court Justice John Katsala who blasted the lawyer of being ‘ignorant’ of the law when he got the injunction against hearing a petition of a company under liquidation.

He adjourned hearing of the petition to August 13, 2012 for the parties to sort out the injunction obtained in Zomba.

Lawyer Patrick Mpaka representing the two Mulanje women,  Woodworth and  Gremu applied to the same court in Zomba to have the injunction removed and Justice Mwase agreed with him.

“The applicant for judicial review improperly obtained the order for stay of proceedings in petition Cause no 5 of 2012 at the High Court Commercial Division and Civil Cause no 1030 of 2008 at the High Court Principal Registry by failing to make a full and frank disclosure of material facts and legal considerations in its ex-parte applications for Judicial Review before this court,” said Justice Mwase.

He therefore set aside the injunction and the case for petition to wind up Chitakale Plantations Limited will now go ahead at the High Court Commercial Division before Justice Katsala on Monday in open Court at 9am.

Woodworth is claiming more than K26 million as damages ordered by the High Court after winning a legal battle over a piece of land which Mulli invaded but both the High Court and The Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the land belongs to the two women.

But even after the Supreme Court ruling, Mulli refused to let go of the land, he only gave up the land when President Mutharika died on April 5, 2012.

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