The High Court in Lilongwe on Friday failed to start hearing of mediation process in a case some residents of Area 18A in Lilongwe are demanding compensation for being supplied with water mixed with sewage.
The court, which met in the chambers, could not proceed with the process as the other parties, namely Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) and Lilongwe Water Board (LWB), were not present.
Judge Fiona Mwale has since adjourned the matter to next Thursday, September 6, 2018, at 11 am and has ordered LWB and MHC to pay costs for Friday’s failed hearing.
The residents, being represented by among others, lawyer Gift Nankhuni, are seeking a K2 million compensation to each of the Area 18 households affected by the sewage-polluted water.
A report by the national task force on the Area 18A water contamination saga, instituted by President Peter Mutharika, faulted MHC for the incident which occurred on July 18 last year.
The report, which was submitted to President Peter Mutharika through Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Lloyd Muhara, noted that MHC failed to manage the sewer lines which were within its jurisdiction.
The taskforce chairperson, Rexie Chiluzi, noted that MHC was hesitant to act on the issue when it occurred until the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change gave them an ultimatum to repair the broken sewer lines as landlords responsible for such repairs.
Said Chiluzi when he presented the report: “The task force found that water was indeed contaminated due to a blockage of sewer lines and that MHC, being the landlord, is responsible for the management of sewer lines in Area 18 housing estate; hence, they needed to take care of the system timely.”