Mutharika’s widow gets court relief on Ndata

Former First Lady Callista Mutharika has rushed to the High Court to get a temporary relief stopping children of the former Malawi President late Bingu wa Mutharika  from evicting her from  Ndata Estate property which has the magnificent Casablanca Manor and the Mpumulo wa Bata Mausoleum  in Thyolo tea-growing district , southern Malawi.

Mutharika’s three children-Madalitso, Tapiwa, and Duwa-from his late wife Ethel Zvauya Mutharika issued a strong worded statement accusing their step-mother of clinging to property which they said was made jointly by their late parents Bingu and Ethel.

The statement from Bingu’s children exposed deep tensions with their step-mother.

The children among other things accuse Callista that during the mourning period she has been hosting numerous politically affiliated functions at the property without the family’s consultation while at the same time barring the children from the home.

Callista Mutharika: Goes to court

Meanwhile, according to a family source, Callista was ordered to pack up her belongings and leave the palace by irate family members who met on Monday to discuss the stand-off.

They communicated to Callista through a letter dated October 18 2012 from lawyers representing Bineth Trust – Mbendera and Nkhono Associates-  ordering her  to vacate Ndata Farm within five days.

“You [Callista] may obviously take with you your personal property, but you are not required to take from the house any property that belongs to Bineth Trust. We are informed that the deceased property of late Professor Bingu wa Mutharika is yet to be distributed,” reads the letter.

However, this did not please the socialite lady who sought the relief of the courts to determine on whether the Mutharika family acted legally in chasing her out.

Through her lawyers, Chisanga and Tomoka,  Callista  argued that Ndata is a matrimonial home she helped with building supervision, interior design and decoration

“We later used to occupy [the matrimonial home] after December 2010. None of deceased’s children ever spent a night at Casa Blanca during the entire married life,” reads her affidavit filed in court.

The source said Callista was granted a temporary injunction by Justice Joseph Manyungwa in Blantyre.

“The court has given her some sort of relief to continue staying at the Ndata Palace until an both parties  hearing scheduled for Friday,” said the source.

“As a family we are both legally and traditionally covered because Bingu before he died built her two houses one in Zomba and the other one in Likuni so we believe that including other benefits she is enjoying are enough considering that they never had a child,” said the family member who refused to be named.

Manyungwa is expected to make determination on the matter after hearing from both Callista and the Bingu family.

Mutharika’s children said they hope the matter “can be resolved amicably, with dignity in order to preserve the legacy of our late parents.”

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