By Chancy Namadzunda:
Concerned Citizens have failed to raise enough funds to bail out Former President Peter Mutharika and former Secretary to the President and Cabinet Lloyd Muhara who were ordered to pay K69.5 million as costs to the applicants in the Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda’s case.
In November last year, Mutharika and Muhara were found wanting by the High Court on their action to force Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and Justice Edward Twea to proceed on leave pending retirement.
The ruling followed an application by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), Malawi Law Society (MLS) and Association of Magistrates in Malawi (AMM) who sought for a court intepretention whether Mutharika and Muhura’s action was legally binding.
On March 12, 2021, Assistant High Court Registrar Patrick Chirwa slapped the two with a K69.5 million bill following Judge Charles Mkandawire’s ruling that the two settle costs personally to the claimants.
The costs were supposed to be settled within 14 days, which they have failed.
Concerned with the Court’s decision on costs, the Concerned Citizens launched a fundraising drive to raise funds for Mutharika and Muhara.
Concerned Citizens Chairperson Mundango Nyirenda said the group decided to come in and bail out Mutharika because his accounts were frozen by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to uncover the role he played in a K5 billion cement scandal.
In an interview with The Atlas Malawi recently, Nyirenda said since the call was made, there has been positive feedback from the general public.
“People have been depositing their contributions, and some are still doing so,” he said
However, following their failure to settle the costs in time, lawyer for the claimants Khumbo Soko has told the local media that they have the commenced enforcement proceedings to force Mutharika and Muhara obey the court order.
Efforts to find out how much the Concerned Citizens raised proved futile as Nyirenda could not be reached on his mobile numbers.
The group has no offices.