By Our Reporter
A renowned human rights campaigner, Undule Mwakasungula has expressed concern over the k9bn the lawyers of the opposition parties as petitioners are said to be demanding on the just ended Constitutional court and Supreme Court election cases.
In a media release Mwakasungula said “I am voicing this as a concerned Malawian taxpayer and worried with the figures the lawyers of the opposition parties as petitioners are said to be demanding on the just ended Constitutional court and Supreme Court election cases.”
Mwakasungula fears that the decision by the lawyers representing MCP and UTM in the just ended elections case to bill Malawi Electoral commission with K9 Billion might be a big threat to our democracy and future litigation attempts by anyone. This bill is scaring and is setting a bad precedent by which every party that will feel aggrieved in the future elections shall think twice before commencing litigation processes.
“It is important to note that the Electoral Commission is a Constitutional body that means tax payers in Malawi are the ones bearing the burden to pay this such huge bill. The K9 Billion is indirectly reaping from the taxpayer’s money. While it is petitioners’ legal team exercising their Constitutional right, they should also know that it is not MEC but Malawians, who will pay such a huge bill.” Observed Mwakasungula.
Mwakaungula has since appealed to the lawyers of the two sides to consider reducing the costs being claimed as a way of showing that they are putting Malawi first.
Mwaksaungula however says the K9 Billion charge bill by the MCP and UTM lawyers should be treated as one of the big lessons for our nation in future litigation cases.
“There is need for all of us to conduct ourselves in a professional manner at all times to avoid squeezing the tax payers to foot unnecessary legal cost. Malawians are already being squeezed through the taxation regime. Revenue generated through our taxes should always be protected by us all and channelled to needy cost centers like health, education, portable water, development programs and many more,” he said.
Mwakasungala says he hopes and trust that the Registrar of High Court and all the parties concerned will assess and come up with figures that are making sense, realistic and at the same time do not compel Malawians or remind Malawians of the famous “cash gate” in a different style.
In the statement Mkwasungula has called upon the Registrar of the High Court to assess the billing system of lawyers in the country for the sake of consolidating democracy, trust building and safeguarding the law profession.
Mwakasungula was also quick to caution MEC for trying to hire a foreign legal firm, to beef up the local legal team during the Supreme Court Appeal at taxpayers’ expense.