The Malawi Government, which admitted liability in the death of Buleya Lule in police custody, has has engaged his family on compensation amount with K45 million offered so far to the deceased’s family.
Lawyer George Kadzipatike, who is representing the Lule family, on Monday said that the State initially made an offer of K35 million, but was increased to about K45 million after bargaining.
“We negotiated and I pegged the amount at K80 million which they still rejected and settled for K45 million,” he said.
Kadzipatike said that although government offered to pay K45 million about two months ago, it was yet to sign a consent order on the same.
He said if government does not sign the order, the family will take the matter to court for assessment of damages.
“I wrote the office of the Attorney General to sign the consent, but it has not been signed. So, if they do not sign the option is to have the damages assessed by the court,” Kadzipatike said.
He said the consent order was initially supposed to be signed by former Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe, but President Lazarus Chakwera terminated his contract before he could sign it; hence, he is hopeful the new chief legal adviser to the government Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda would sign it.
Ministry of Justice spokesperson Pirirani Masanjala on Monday said the Attorney General needs to look at the document first before making a decision.
Lule was arrested in connection with his alleged involvement in the abduction of a boy with albinism, but died under mysterious circumstances in police custody in February 2019. Investigations into his death established that he was murdered. During court hearing, he denied involvement.
Following the murder investigation and arrest of the 13 police officers in July 2020, Lule’s widow, Charity, in August 2020 took government to court demanding compensation.
She applied for summary judgement in the High Court in Lilongwe to award her compensation. Lule’s family demanded K331 million as compensation for loss of life and expectations that the family had from Lule as breadwinner.