High Court of Malawi Judge Joseph Chigona yesterday failed to pass judgement in a case involving former Flames coach Ernest Mtawali and Football Association of Malawi (FAM) due to the absence of lawyers for the two parties.
The case has since been shifted to a yet-to-be disclosed date. This is the third time that judgement day has been changed.
Yesterday, Chigona expressed surprise that lawyers of both the plaintiff and the defendant were not available in court. Only Mtawali, who was accompanied by his former Flames team-mate Chancy ‘Vinny’ Gondwe, showed up.
Addressing Mtawali in the court room, Chigona said: “We cannot proceed with the verdict when lawyers of both sides are not available. This is surprising. Therefore, I adjourn the case to a later date.”
Mtawali’s lawyer Zwelithini Chipembere and the defence’s attorney Patrick Mpaka were not available for comments at press time.
Mtawali is claiming general and special damages over broadcast and published articles, in which FAM first vice-president James Mwenda, as the body’s technical sub-committee chairperson, reportedly alleged that the coach was fired due to “lack of planning and managerial skills and, to some extent, discipline.”
The case went into full trial almost eight months ago after the two parties failed to resolve the matter through mediation.