Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Uladi Mussa, is challenging a High Court order to pay United Democratic Front (UDF) President, Atupele Muluzi, for defaming him.
The High Court in Blantyre last Friday instructed Mussa to pay Atupele for the costs incurred since the defamation case started.
Atupele sued Mussa for allegedly uttering unfair remarks against him during Tiuzeni Zoona Programme on Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) aired on April 14, 2013.
Lawyer representing Mussa, who is also a senior governing Peoples Party (PP) official, Paul Maulidi, said he would appeal against the judgment.
Lawyer Jai Banda representing the young Muluzi pegged the cost at K1.5 million (about $3 750).
The two parties agreed to mediation but Uladi’s camp did not turn up at the meetings forcing mediator, James Misty Masumbu, to issue a certificate of non-compliance and refer the case to the court.
Banda wanted the court to strike out Mussa’s defence that he uttered those words because Atupele is a public figure and is subject to scrutiny. This, according to Banda, was in accordance with Order 14 of the Courts Mandatory Mediation Rules (2004).
However, Mussa’s legal counsel opposed to Banda’s plea, saying that would be miscarriage of justice.
In his ruling, Registrar Matapa Kacheche decided against striking out the defendant’s defence while also observing there was no trust in the mediation process and ordered a stop.
Kacheche then ordered that Uladi should pay Atupele costs of the case from the time it started to the current status within 21 days.
“If the defendant fails to comply with this order by the end of 21 days, the defendant’s defence shall stand struck out and the plaintiff will be at liberty to enter judgment,” ordered Kacheche.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :