Supreme Court grants Khato stay order against Malawi Law Society on water project

Justice Lovemore Chikopa of the Malawi Supreme Court of  Appeal on Thursday granted a stay order to Khato Civils (Pty) Limited pending an appeal against Malawi Law Society (MLS) order of the injunction by High Court registry in Zomba stopping all groundwork activities for government’s $500 million (K400 billion) Salima-Lilongwe water project.

Justice Chikopa: Granted the stay order

MLS obtained an injunction last Friday but Justice Chikopa sitting as a single judge of Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal granted Khatho, which was contracted by the Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) for the multi-billion kwacha project, a stay order.

Chikopa in his determination declared that the interlocutory injunction the High Court granted to the Law Society has been put aside.

“Looking at the facts even at this stage it cannot be denied that all parties including the Applicant and the Interested Party/Appellant agree that the contract cannot proceed without an EIA first being carried out. The facts also more than suggest that an EIA will in fact be carried out before the contract is implemented. On its part the Interested Party/ Appellant has had an affidavit sworn on its behalf to the effect that the contract was in fact suspended by the Attorney General of the Republic of Malawi until an EIA is carried out.

“The question that arises is whether in those circumstances there is an issue between the parties the status quo around which must be preserved by the grant of an interlocutory injunction the same to subsist until such issue is determined to finality. It is a question we think can best be answered after hearing all the parties. For the time being we will grant the Interested Party/Appellant’s prayer for leave to appeal and a stay of the interlocutory injunction pending such hearing and further order of this court,” Chikopa said.

The Judge said MLS and Khato should attend the Supreme Court sitting on October 4 2017 “for a hearing on whether or not to sustain the stay hereby granted.”

The ruling means Khato can be back to its activities it was already undertaking until a determination of the matter.

Lawyer representing MLS, Michael Goba Chipeta, argues that the water project contravenes the Environmental Management Act as some procedures were not followed.

Khato Civils through its lawyer Frank Mbeta had argued earlier that MLS still had administrative remedies to address its concerns, adding the facts relied upon when the lawyers’ body filed its application for the judicial review were incorrect and misleading.

The Khato lawyers argued the MLS based its case on a wrong assumption that Khato Civils were oblivious of the contents of the Environmental Management Act and had intended not to comply with the legal requirements or unmindful of compliance of the same.


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Am completely disgraced by this law body delaying obvious things,they know nothing about engineering and just come in to confuse things. Are them engineers????? Where is Malawi Institution of Engineers which is supposed to intervene and be in fore front to speed up this beautiful Malawi Development in such circumstances.People need water and not Malawi Law Society.Please Water Board Disconnect supply to these selfish fellows.Can This Project Go Ahead Please Without any Unnecessary Delays!!!!!!!!!! Khatho Please go ahead please we are fed up with this nonsense this is about our life.


Law society! Law society! when Lilongwe residents were drinking sewage water you were quiet. Now that government wants to bring adequate clean water to the city through Khato you rise against it under the pretext Environmental management. Is it not a right for Lilongwe residents to drink adequate clean water? Please love your neighbour as you love yourself.

Dr Manga Sc

If Khato Civils win this case then will future projects require Environmental Impact Assessment ?????????
Judges should handle this case carefully. They may create a wrong precedence which will haunt this nation in future.

Misozi Chanthunya

DPP ndi deal. Mwayetsetsa umu ndi umo koma APM chiongolero. Uyu wa warrant of arrest akuyetsetsa koma wachepa. That’s where the difference between school ad umbuli is.


Let the development go ahead we don’t want to drink sewage water again. why hindering the development?


By fighting on Khato has shown great passion for the development of the country. Big up Khato we are behind you and we love. Ana Achepa! musawagailekoso ndalama amenewo.


In situations where Tender Process is marred by many concerns like these, the Tender Documents should have stipulated a cancellation clause upfront to cover for such unforeseen circumstances. If such a clause is there which I doubt, then cancel the contract and re-advertise.


MLS is turning into another political pressure grouping that has lost its salt, how dare them do that from the grape vine , credible organs like these ought to be objective and sincere, by gathering real facts surrounding such ventures ,not the way they have done.
What a disgrace to them


Who are you, Tawonga Botolo Photo’s spin doctor


I don’t know do we want the project to flop, so that people should continue drinking zitosi from toilets as was the case in Lilongwe in Are 18 water saga. Lets be realistic, the project must continue please, we need portable clean water everywhere in Malawi.

People should understand one thing. No one is agains the project but the manner the project t has been initiated. As a country we have laws and these are supposed to guide our processes and procedures. Let not forget what happened with the Nsanje in-land water project. We needed a thorough feasibility study to determine viability of the project by looking at powere requirements, at what cost will the power be delivered to Lilongwe, will the majority afford it etc. Otherwise we can pump the water to Lilongwe but very expensive to consumers what would we have achieved. By the… Read more »

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