Youth and Society (YAS) has written Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale to explain his role in the procurement of legal services from South African lawyers to represent Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in the presidential election appeal case at the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal.
In a letter dated March 13 2020 signed by executive director Charles Kajoloweka, YAS claims Kaphale appeared to have acted on behalf of MEC in the deal.
YAS has since given Kaphale up to Thursday this week to respond to the queries, failing which the CSO will be “minded to approach the courts for necessary redress” against him and other officials involved in the deal.
When contacted on Sunday, Kaphale declined to comment on the matter, saying: “I no longer give media interviews on the elections case.”
The AG wrote chief executive officer of Umodzi Hotel Limited in Lilongwe on March 11 2020 to allow the foreign lawyers to pay for their lodgings later as government was working on procurement protocols.
Despite Kaphale’s claim that government was working on procurement protocols, Treasury said they were not aware of such an exercise.
YAS has since asked the AG to explain how his actions were regular and in compliance with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Asset Act.
MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa said the AG was no longer representing the commission in the presidential election annulment case.
When asked what role Kaphale played in the procurement of South African legal services, Mwafulirwa said he was not aware of any role played by the AG.
In its ruling on February 3, the Constitutional Court said by representing MEC, Kaphale assumed a partisan role, instead he should have been legal adviser to MEC, as is the case with all other public bodies.
MEC hired the South African law firm, Mboweni Maluleke Inc Attorneys, to help in the nullification appeal case and documents show taxpayers will pay $788 500 (almost K600 million) for the services.