African court rules in Kajoloweka’s favour over K21m maizegate case costs

The African Court on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) has suspended Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal’s ruling that ordered activist Charles Kajoloweka to pay K21 million for taking former Minister of Agriculture George Chaponda to court over the maizegate scandal.

The court based in Arusha, Tanzania has ordered that enforcement of the Supreme Court of Appeal against Kajoloweka should be stayed “pending the determination of the application.”

matter will now go to full trial before the ACHPR in Tanzania.

Kajoloweka and other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) took government and Chaponda to court in 2017 over President Peter Mutharika’s failure to fire Chaponda from cabinet at a time the then minister was being investigated in relation to the maizegate scandal.

The CSOs lost the case at the Supreme Court.

Last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal ordered Kajoloweka to pay Chaponda and the Government K21.6 million as legal costs for the case.

According to the court, 17.3 million is professional fees, K1.5 million is for disbursements while K2.8 million is value added tax.

After the ruling, the activist expressed concern that that the court was punishing him for approaching it on a matter of public interest and warned that such decisions will continue to scare citizens from challenging organised impunity.

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which has stayed Malawi top court’s decision, is a continental court established by African countries to ensure the protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa. It complements and reinforces the functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

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