BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Malawi Law Society (MLS) has objected to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) decision to hire South African lawyers to represent it in the presidential election appeal case.
MEC sought legal services from the South African based law firm Mboweni Maluleke INC to among other; represent it in the appeal case of the nullified 21 May, 2019 presidential election.
Ironically, MLS honorary secretary Martha Kaukonde applied to the Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda to allow the South African based Lawyers to represent MEC in the appeal case at the Supreme Court before taking a dramatic turn.
In a letter to its membership yesterday, MLS argues that MEC failed to comply with Public Finance Management Act. The argument specifies that MEC flouted sections 23 to 26 of the Public Finance Management Act as well as sections 172 and 176 of the Constitution.
“The Agreement between MEC and MBOWENI MALULEKE INC ATTORNEYS fails to satisfy with the Legal Education and Legal Practitioners Act and Rules thereunder as to costs of legal services in Malawi.
“It has been highlighted that Part III of the Legal Practitioners (Scale and Minimum Charges) Rules prescribes reasonable and fair charges for legal services with regard to all circumstances of the case. The society has submitted that there was (and there is) no reasonableness on the legal fee of $788,500,” reads the letter in part.
Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda is yet to grant the wish of application for admission of the South African Lawyers MEC has hired as hearing of the application that was scheduled for April 7, has been shifted to Monday next week.
There’s is currently a public uproar over the decision by MEC to hire the South African law firm at a cost in excess of 600 million Kwacha arguing the country has brilliant and capable legal minds.
During a press conference in Blantyre, MEC Chairperson Justice Dr. Jane Ansah said law firms in the country refused to represent the commission while the only lawyer who accepted to represent the electoral body is not available on the day of the appeal.