Malawi Attorney General wants DPP to pay K200 million legal fees

Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda says his office has come up with a K200 million bill which the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has to pay as costs for the elections case the party lost last month.

According to Nyirenda, his office has considered the time officers spent on the as well as money spent on materials, food and accommodation.

Last month, the Constitutional Court threw out an application by the DPP seeking the nullification of the 2020 Fresh Presidential Elections.

The court also ordered the party to pay costs for the case.

The DPP, last year, nominated four people as Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners. DPP president Peter Mutharika, in his capacity at the time as president of Malawi, went on to appoint the four DPP nominees and they were part of commissioners who managed the 2020 Fresh President Election in which Lazarus Chakwera was elected President of Malawi.

Earlier this year, the High Court ruled that the four DPP commissioners were appointed illegally as the party was supposed to be represented by three commissioners.

Following that ruling, DPP sought a constitutional interpretation, arguing that the 2020 elections cannot be valid because they were managed by some commissioners who were not appointed legally.

But the Constitutional Court on November 26 said nullification of Fresh Presidential Elections as asked by the DPP would have had the effect of having the DPP benefitting from its own illegality.

“We cannot imagine a more classic example of one seeking to benefit from their own illegality than this.

“What we have are illegal nominations by the DPP followed by illegal appointments by the former President who incidentally is also the president of the DPP,” the court said before ordering that DPP to pay costs.