MALAWI. Lilongwe: Former President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika and Chief Secretary to the government Lloyd Muhara risk having their properties confiscated.
The court through Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda on May 4 asked Sheriffs should seize the property.
The two were found guilty of sending the country’s Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and another Judge, Edward Twea into forced leave when Mutharika was in power.
The Human Rights Defenders Coalition, a rights group together with the Association of Judges and Magistrates in Malawi and the Malawi Law Society dragged the two to court over what they termed as illegal and unlawful the decision to send the two Judges on leave.
Muhara himself, a Judge of the High court signed the letter which sent Nyirenda and Twea on leave. He was then the Chief Secretary to Mutharika’s government.
The High court sided with the three applicants and ordered Mutharika and Muhara to pay 86,000 dollars in legal fees for the applicants in March this year.
However, the two had paid 64,000 dollars remaining with 22,000 dollars.
The latter sum is what has caused the order to seize their property.
Mutharika court rift
Mutharika, a former Washington University had shown displeasure with the courts at the way it handled the elections case which made him lose his presidency.
He ruled Malawi from 2014 and was re-elected in 2019 but the courts annulled the 2019 polls because of massive irregularities.
A re-run of the presidential polls in June last year made the incumbent Lazarus Chakwera President.
Mutharika had accused the judges of a ‘ judicial coup’.
The decision to send Nyirenda and Twea sparked condemnation.
Pundits had accused Muhara of interfering in matters of an independent judiciary.
Nyirenda had been sent on leave 18 months before his retirement date.
Lawyers had staged street protest against the Mutharika government on the decision in June 2020.
The decision to seize his property comes after the country’s anti-corruption agency, the Anti Corruption Bureau froze his accounts to investigate on some alleged corruption while in power.