The family of Geoffrey Mwale, who died following football violence at Kamuzu Stadium, has sued Red Lions FC, Malawi Defence Force (MDF), Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and Football Association of Malawi (FAM) through private practice lawyer John Gift Mwakhwawa.
According to the deceased’s father Stanley Mwale, Red Lions have been sued for provoking the situation that led to the fracas after their match against Fisd Wizards (then Surestream FC) on May 10 while MDF have been sued for their soldiers’ alleged involvement in the beating of the deceased.
“Sulom and FAM will answer charges of negligence and laxity on the provision of tight security at the match venue, a situation that left the deceased vulnerable to assault. I need justice in this case,” said Mwale, who is a police officer.
Mwakhwawa confirmed yesterday that he is acting on behalf of the family in dealing with the legal proceedings, but he refused to divulge more details, saying that could compromise his ethics as a private practice lawyer.
He added that the ethics also do not allow him to reveal the court in which the case has been filed, when the court proceedings will begin and specific details about the charges that the four entities will be answering.
“I can confirm that I am acting on behalf of the Mwale family on this matter. However, as a private law affair, I am not obliged to make progress reports through the press. Such details will reveal themselves as the case progresses in the court of law,” Mwakhwawa said.
Meanwhile, all the sued parties told The Nation on Tuesday that they have not yet received the lawsuits and as such, they could not comment on the matter.
“I know nothing about it. Call me after three hours as I am currently driving to Zomba where I would probably know if the lawsuit is in our hands,” said MDF spokesperson Lieutenant Paul Chiphwanya.
Sulom treasurer TiyaSomba-Banda, who also acts as the body’s general secretary, said: “We cannot pre-empt a matter that has not reached us yet.”
FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda said: “We have not received it. But once we get it, we will pass it through to our legal department, which will advise us on what to do. At present, I cannot say anything.”
Mwale became a second soccer fan to lose life to violence at a domestic football match within a space of just over a year. Lemiyasi Josita died in similar circumstances during a game between Mighty Wanderers and Silver Strikers at Balaka Stadium in December 2013.