High Court Judge Joseph Chigona has adjourned to August 16 hearing of a case in which former Flames coach Ernest Mtawali sued Football Association of Malawi (FAM) for defamation.
The case was scheduled to start as full trial yesterday after the two parties failed to resolve the matter through mediation but it failed to take off because defence witnesses—FAM president Walter Nyamilandu and his vice-president James Mwenda—were not available.
According to court records, the two would be outside the country for two weeks.
“I have reluctantly adjourned the case to August 16,” said Chigona.
However, he ordered the defence to file their trial bundle, that is, file their witnesses by August 9.
Initially, the case was to be adjourned to October, but Chigona set the new date after Mtawali’s lawyer Zwelithini Chipembere pleaded with him to consider reducing the timeframe.
FAM’s lawyer Patrick Mpaka, who was not in the court room when the adjournment was being made, refused to comment on the matter, saying he would only do so once he is served with the court order.
In the case, Mtawali is claiming general and special damages over broadcast and published articles, in which Mwenda, as FAM technical sub-committee chairperson, alleged that the coach was fired due to “lack of planning and managerial skills and, to some extent, discipline.”
Mtawali, dressed in a grey suit, attended the session in the company of fellow Flames legend Chance Gondwe. n