…demand ACB to investigate
A group of concerned Malawians says the K7 billion legal bill for the elections case is a ploy to defraud government through judicial looting.
The group led by Philip Kamangirah made the remarks in a statement on Friday
Earlier this month, High Court Registrar Agnes Patemba ordered Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to pay President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima K7 billion in legal fees for the elections case. Taxpayers are expected to foot the bill.
In their statement, the concerned citizens said the bill is a sign of a corrupt government which is stealing taxpayers’ money through unjustifiable means.
“The beneficiaries of this looting are the ones in leadership. Dr. Chakwera is the President and Dr. Chilima the Vice, while the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General were also part of the legal team in the case.
“Surprisingly, the same Minister of Justice and the Attorney General are the ones to authorize this payment. Is this not a ploy to defraud government through this judicial looting?”
“We are aware that government already spent about MK254, 000, 000 on the same case at High Court and another MK120, 000,000 in the Supreme Court,” reads part of the group’s statement.
The concerned citizens then questioned the mathematics used to come up with the K7 billion figure considering that the case involved 20 lawyers who worked for less than a year.
“We demand that our learned colleagues that had the mathematical computation of coming up with the K7 billion legal fee – the record breaking fee in the country – be accountable and produce a charge sheet that explains in detail all elements that bring up this ominous and obscene figure,” the concerned Malawians said.
They also demanded Malawi Law Society to ensure that the legal profession is not put in disrepute through outrageous, inflated and unjustifiable legal fees.
The citizen further asked the Anti- Corruption Bureau to investigate and get the root cause of such “an obscene and ridiculous payment in the name of legal fees”.
According to the concerned citizens, it is also important that the matter be de-politicized and that politics should be a vehicle for developing Malawians.
“Representing political parties and personalities should not be a highway to fees that only hide beneath a spirit of self-enrichment. Let political decisions made be in the light of the finances of the country. Let legal fees charged be reasonable and in line with the taxation bill. We have one Malawi for us all and its resources are for us all,” reads part of the statement.
The citizens have since called upon President Chakwera and Vice president Chilima to promote transparency and accountability and to lead by example as servant leaders.