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CDEDI wants Chief Justice Mzikamanda to walk the talk

By IOMMIE CHIWALO

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-Having appealed to the general public to bring forward stalled cases for action, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has penned Chief Justice Rezine Mzikamanda to walk the talk on Illovo Sugar Company case.

CDEDI interest in the matter is coming in based on the fact that six months down the line, Judge Charlotte Malonda is yet to deliver her ruling on the matter whereby Illovo was also granted an injunction, on one hand restraining the Ministry of Trade and Industry from effecting a 25 percent sugar price cut and, on the other, restraining the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) from commencing criminal proceedings against Illovo, for allegedly violating the Competition and
Fair-Trading Act.

This is despite assurance from the Chief Justice that apart from the judiciary having in place measures and mechanisms to ensure speedy delivery of judgements, Parliament passed into law the Courts Act that mandates Judges to deliver rulings within 90 days.

Namiwa says the low-income consumers that should have benefited from the CFTC determination, had a rude awakening when both Illovo and Salima Sugar companies announced another price hike, the second since the 44 percent devaluation of the kwacha, a situation, which could not have happened had it been that this particular matter was dealt with total consideration of the notion that justice delayed is justice denied.

Namiwa says that the current situation is regrettable because the developments surrounding the matter, seems to create an impression that the elite are at liberty to use the law to punish the marginalized and less privileged people that were supposed to be protected by the same law in the first place.

He has therefore implored Chief Justice Mzikamanda, on his capacity as the Head of Judiciary to take over the matter and ensure that justice is not only served but be seen to be delivered before the citizenry can get used to doing without sugar.

He demonstrated the need to treat the matter with the urgency it deserves by citing Section 12 subsection 1 (a) of the republican constitution which clearly states that both legal and political authority of the state derives from the people of Malawi and shall be exercised to solely serve and protect their interests.

“It is therefore a majority view that a ruling on this matter will not only serve public interest but also strengthen confidence and trust in the effectiveness of our independent judicial system as per the spirit and wording of Section 13 (O) of constitution,” he said.

Meanwhile productive citizens are queuing for hours on end for sugar that never comes.

“Where it is available, they are reduced to laughing stocks as respectable citizens are pictured literally scrambling for a packet of the commodity,”.

Malawians are now enduring the suffering due to the seemingly never-ending sugar crisis that has culminated into unprecedented soaring prices—hitting K5,000 per kilogramme on the parallel market.

Judge Charlotte Malonda of the High Court granted an injunction to Illovo Sugar on September 7, 2023, sparing the firm from prosecution for alleged unfair competition.

Surprisingly, the stay was granted after an investigation by the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) found the company guilty of unfair trading practices.

“The CFTC further applied to have the injunction vacated on September 20, 2023 and hearing on the matter was done on October 24, 2023 but six months down the line, the judgement is nowhere to be seen,”

Maravi Post Reporter
Maravi Post Reporterhttps://www.maravipost.com/
Op-Ed Columnists, Opinion contributors and one submissions are posted under this Author. In our By-lines we still give Credit to the right Author. However we stand by all reports posted by Maravi Post Reporter.
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