Former president Peter Mutharika and former Secretary to the President and Cabinet Lloyd Muhara have filed an application for a review of assessment of costs which High Court ordered them to pay K69.5 million for decisions they argue were made in their official capacities.
Mwayi Banda, a lawyer from Tembenu, Masumbu & Company legal firm representing Mutharika, said his client is seeking a review of the costs, saying they want it to be lower.
“We have applied for the review of the assessment of the costs,” said Banda.
“We also intend to apply for the stay of execution of the order of the costs,” he added.
Muhara’s lawyer has applied for a stay of execution of the costs and Banda said Mutharika will be joining the application.
“Since there is already an application by Muhara’s lawyer, we intend to join since it is the same case,” Banda said.
Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal Justice Charles Mkandawire, ordered Mutharika and Muhara – when he was hearing as High Court judge – to pay costs incurred in the case where they were found guilty of forcing Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and Justice of Appeal Edward Twea to proceed on leave in May this year pending retirement next year.
Mutharika and Muhara —who are also lawyers—were faulted for interfering with the independence of the Judiciary after they had asked Nyirenda and Twea to go on leave pending retirement.
The court said the two had no powers to send the judges on leave as issues of leave were an internal administrative matter of the Judiciary.
The two were ordered to pay costs for the case as a way of ensuring that public officials carry out reasonable decisions.