"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"

Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Muluzi failing to pay legal fees

Lawyers for former president Bakili Muluzi say
they will not respond to Attorney General Jane Ansah’s demand that they
pay K15 million in legal costs incurred when handling a dismissed case
of their client’s candidacy.
The lawyers argued that they have taken the stand because the Electoral
Commission (EC), which the AG was representing in the matter, did not
present the actual bill.
But Ansah in an interview W ednesday said she would just take the
matter for taxation--a process where parties discuss costs of every
stage of the process.
One of Muluzi’s lawyers Kalekeni Kaphale described EC’s demand for K15 million as a big joke.
Kaphale said they would not bother to respond to the letter because the amount mentioned was exorbitant.
“We received a letter demanding our client to pay a bill of K15 million, but it is on the higher side,” he argued.
Asked on the next step, Kaphale said the Attorney General knows what to do.
On the other hand, Ansah said EC would not revert to Muluzi’s attorney and instead the matter would go straight to taxation.
“We demanded K15 million, so the next step is to go for taxation,” she said.
She said the two parties would discuss the bill then appear before the registrar for assessment.
Costs payable after losing a case are assessed by the Registrar of the High Court in the presence of both parties.
During this process, lawyers for both sides argue over the figures, but
the registrar has the prerogative to endorse the final figures.
A panel of three judges dismissed Muluzi’s challenge filed following
EC’s rejection of his bid to stand in next week’s presidential
The court ordered him to pay the costs.
The case was filed again and the Constitutional Court has reserved its ruling for this Friday.

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