Businessperson Leston Mulli and his two companies, Sunrise Pharmaceuticals and Chombe Foods Limited, have written the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Board to either suspend or cancel Youth and Society (YAS) registration for allegedly interfering in his K8 billion claim from government.
The letter follows an injunction Mulli obtained on Thursday, restraining YAS from commenting on the K8 billion claim.
In the letter dated August 29 2018, Mulli, through Churchill and Norris Law Consultants, argues that by commenting on the matter, YAS executive director Charles Kajoloweka has displayed misconduct, unprofessionalism, abuse and violation of human rights, and that his comments may influence the court’s determination of the case.
The injunction followed a war of words between Mulli and Kajoloweka, with Mulli earlier demanding a retraction of Kajoloweka’s statement that the K8 billion claim from government is an organised malfeasance to defraud Capital Hill.
Reads the letter in part: “In their press release, YAS thought to influence the court of public of opinion as well as the court of law by insinuating that the whole legal matter was a plot to defraud the government and the Attorney General will deliberately lose the case at trial. Such an allegation has the potential of swaying the opinion of the court to incline against our client’s favour where our clients are in fact entitled to an effective remedy.
“In any case, YAS in upholding the rule of law needed to have refrained from commenting on matters that were in court so as to give room to due legal process and justice to take its course independently. By misconducting itself in such a manner, YAS deserves to be disciplined accordingly.”
Mulli’s lawyers have also argued that in exercising its right to freedom of expression, YAS should not breach other people’s rights in the process.
“From the foregoing, we sincerely implore the board to bring YAS to account for its actions of misconduct and take necessary disciplinary action by either suspending or cancelling their registration. It is the mandate of the Board that NGO’s perform the functions for which they were registered and to deregister them should it be found that they are no longer doing so,” implores the letter.
NGO Board executive director Voice Mhone said in a WhatsApp response: “We will look into the matter as soon the letter comes to our attention. NGOs are supposed to operate according to their statutory mandate as provided for in their registered constitution mandated under the Trustees Incorporation Act.”
Kajoloweka confirmed being copied the letter but said he could not comment since Mulli obtained an injunction which gags him from speaking on the matter.
The injunction, in the civil case number 262 of 2018, has Kajoloweka as the first defendant while the Registered Trustees of YAS are the second defendant.
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 whatsover 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.
The earlier strong-worded demand letter from Mulli dated August 26 2018, came after Kajoloweka said Mulli allegedly threatened to kill him for publicly denouncing his claim of K8 billion from government, threats which Mulli denied.
Mulli’ s lawyers challenged Kajoloweka to produce evidence on his claim that Mulli was dubiously paid K3.1 billion following the July 20 2011 fracas.
But in response, Kajoloweka through lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa, said he remains suspicious of how the whole case has been handled.
According to the response letter, Kajoloweka does not have a personal vendetta against Mulli or any political grouping.
Mulli, through Sunrise Pharmaceuticals Limited and Chombe Foods Limited, sued government and claimed K3.1 billion as damages for losses during the July 20 2011 demonstrations in which 21 people were killed.
He is now seeking an additional K8 billion. Mulli’s claim is being heard at the High Court in Blantyre.