By Synd Kalimbuka
Malawi Attorney General, Dr Chikosa Silungwe, has obtained an injunction against construction of Senior Chief Malemia’s official house in Zomba.
The injunction which this publication has seen was obtained at Zomba High Court and can only be vacated after an interparty hearing.
Lawyer representing Senior Chief Malemia Yusufu Nthenda confirmed that Attorney General obtained an injunction against his own government which is constructing the house in the area of Senior chief Malemia.
“I was also surprise to see government obtaining injunction against its own project funded by Ministry of Local government and Rural Development,” said Nthenda.
Nthenda added that private lawyers are not supposed to defend chiefs in such scenarios since it the Attorney General who was supposed to defend the Senior Chiefs.
According to Nthenda, the reason behind the injunction is that the land where the house is being constructed belongs to Domasi Magistrate court.
But Nthenda said the history of the place is that the first Senior Chief Malemia offered piece of land for the court and the other part was still used and owned by the chief during big meetings.
The defendant’s Lawyer added that the court is currently relying on a 2011 map to claim that the whole area belongs to Judiciary.
“Former senior chief Malemia died in 2004 and there was a vacuum up to 2016 when the current senior chief was installed by Minister of Local government,” he said.
According to Nthenda, the 2011 map which was done without consultation with the senior chief because there was no chief at the time.
Zomba District Commissioner Smart Gwedemula confirmed that the house is being constructed with funding from central government saying the council’s duty is to supervise on any project activity through Director of Public Works.
When contacted, High court registrar Agnes Patemba did not respond.
By the time the injunction was obtained, the construction work of the official house which is being carried out by Fidelis Construction Company was at foundation level.
The court is yet to set the date for the interparty hearing to be presided over by Justice Redson Kapindu.
Government, through the Ministry of local government and rural development is constructing official houses for some traditional authorities and senior chiefs in the country.