Business magnate Leston Mulli and his two companies—Sunrise Pharmaceuticals and Chombe Foods Limited—have obtained an injunction against rights activist Charles Kajoloweka, restraining him from commenting on the companies’ K8 billion claim case against government.
In the Civil Case Number 262 of 2018, Kajoloweka is the first defendant while the Registered Trustees of Youth and Society (YAS), an organisation he leads, is the second defendant.
The injunction obtained at the Blantyre Registry of the High Court followed a war of words between Mulli and Kajoloweka, with the latter earlier writing Kajoloweka through Churchill and Norris Law Consultants, demanding a retraction and withdrawal of his statements to the effect that his K8 billion claim from government is another organised malfeasance to defraud Capital Hill.
But Kajoloweka, in a response through lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa maintained his stance, further giving Mulli seven days to withdraw threats that he will ‘kill’ the rights activist for trying to foil his K8 billion legal claim.
But on Thursday, August 30 2018, Mulli, through Churchill and Norris obtained an injunction against Kajoloweka and YAS.
It reads: “The order restrains you either by yourselves, your servants or agents or otherwise whosoever from making any publication on social media, the radio, television, press release or in whatsoever manner in relation the claimants, the Judiciary and the Attorney General in relation to the ongoing claims in High Court of Malawi Principal Registry civil cause number 747 of 2012 between Sunrise Pharmaceutical Limited and Chombe Foods Limited vs The Attorney General pending the determination of the said matter by the court or until a further order of the court.”
According to the order, the claimants should file inter-partes application for an interlocutory injunction within 14 days of the order.
Kajoloweka’s lawyer confirmed receipt of the order.
The earlier strong-worded demand letter from Mulli dated August 26 2018, came after Kajoloweka alleged that Mulli threatened to ‘kill’ him for publicly denouncing his claim of K8 billion from government, threats which Mulli denied.
The alleged threat came after Kajoloweka issued a press statement, last Thursday, questioning Mulli’s claim following the July 20 2011 protests which damaged Sunrise Pharmaceuticals and Chombe Foods.
He said: “The Sunrise Pharmaceuticals Limited and Chombe are owned by Mr. Mulli, a senior member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
“However, to our dismay, we have learnt that Mr. Mulli is now seeking to be paid an additional K8 billion in interests on the initial amount already paid.”
Mulli, in the demand letter, denies being a legal personality of the two companies, further arguing that such remarks show that Kajoloweka has an ‘axe to grind with him and the DPP’.
It reads: “Both your Facebook post and your press release are libelous in nature. In both your publications, you maliciously allege that the sum of K3.1 billion was paid in dubious or questionable circumstances. You further allege an intention to defraud government.
“In your quest to gain social media popularity, you should be mindful that your publications can be inflammatory, defamatory and injurious which is an abuse of the freedom of expression. It is very immature for you to be taking to the media with a lot of misinformation while injuring the reputation of others.”
Further, the lawyers challenged Kajoloweka to produce evidence on his claims that Mulli was dubiously paid K3.1 billion following the July 20 2011 fracas.
They also took a swipe at Kajoloweka for claiming that Attorney General (AG) Charles Mhango was preparing to deliberately lose the case, arguing the AG is defending the matter as he is totally opposed to their application.
“It appears you wish to be hailed as some hero or a vigilante and in the process, you wish to maliciously obstruct the course of justice for your own misguided reasons. The means with which you intend to achieve your result is by defaming Mr Mulli, the Attorney General, the Judiciary and making allegations against them.
“We, therefore, demand the immediate retraction of your Facebook post and an apology to Mr Mulli, Sunrise Pharmaceuticals and Chombe Foods Limited to be made within 48 hours of your receipt of this letter, failing which we shall take appropriate action against you without any further recourse to you whatsoever,” demands the letter.
But Kajoloweka through lawyer Mwafulirwa responded to Mulli’s demands, saying he remains suspicious on how the whole case has been handled.
According to the response letter, Kajoloweka says he does not have personal vendetta against Mulli or any political grouping.
Kajoloweka has since demanded an apology from Mulli for threatening to end his life. He has threatened to drag him to court if this is not done within seven days.
“The said apology should be published for five consecutive days in either The Daily Times or The Nation newspapers,” concludes the response letter.
Mulli, through Sunrise Pharmaceuticals Limited and Chombe Foods Limited, sued government and claimed K3.1 billion as damages for losses during the July 2011 demonstrations in which 21 people were killed in Mzuzu, Blantyre and Lilongwe.
He is now seeking an additional K8 billion.
Mulli’s claim is being heard at the High Court in Blantyre.