Immediate former president Peter Mutharika and former Secretary to the President and Cabinet Lloyd Muhara have challenged application asking the court order that they pay costs for forcing Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and Justice Edward Twea to go on leave pending retirement earlier this year when they had no powers to interfere with Judiciary operations.
Mutharika and Muhara have hired Tembenu, Masumbu and Company law firm to challenge the case.
Lawyer Mwayi Banda of the firm confirmed that he has already filed submissions challenging the application for order of costs to be borne by Mutharika and Muhara.
“We are opposing the application that they should pay costs,” said Banda.
But he could not give details on the grounds for challenging the matter, saying the case will be argued comprehensively in court.
Lawyer for Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and Association of Magistrates in Malawi Khumbo Soko and Malawi Law Society lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa, who took the matter to court to challenge the decision by Mutharika and Muhara, both confirmed being served with submissions by Banda.
The case will come up for hearing on October 5 2020.
Prior to the June 23 2020 Fresh Presidential Election, Muhara wrote the Chief Justice and Twea asking them to proceed on leave, saying they had accumulated more leave days than the remainder of their office tenures.
However, the Malawi Law Society, Association of Magistrates in Malawi and Human Rights Defenders Coalition challenged the decision by government to force the two judges to go on leave pending retirement.
The applicants sought judicial review of Mutharika and Muhara’s decision but also prayed that costs of the case be personally paid by the two to avoid wasting tax payers money.
High Court judge Charles Mkandawire faulted Mutharika and Muhara for interfering with roles of the Judiciary, saying leave administration is an internal issue within the Judiciary.
He said the Executive arm of government cannot interfere in the affairs of the Judiciary, an independent arm of government that is equal to the Executive and Legislature.
The judge pended the costs application to allow Mutharika and Muhara be heard.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :