In another twist, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Symon Vuwa-Kaunda has rejected a K7 million out of court settlement.
The fee was agreed upon by his lawyer Leonard Mbulo and Wesley Mwafulirwa, lawyer for Raphael Mhone, as costs in the case in which Mhone was challenging the parliamentary election of Kaunda.
Kaunda was dragged to court by Mhone, who disputed Kaunda’s victory in the May 21 2019 Nkhata Bay Central parliamentary election. The court ruled in favour of Kaunda and ordered Mhone to pay costs.
Initially, Kaunda demanded K40 million from Mhone, saying he incurred a lot of costs in fighting the case and that his ministerial position was at risk. He also claimed that, because of the court case, he failed to attend parliamentary sittings.
However, lawyers for the two sides reached a compromise after a long court battle on damages, and settled for K7 million, which was to be paid within 21 days from January 7 2019.
But before the money has been paid, Kaunda has rejected the amount despite his lawyer signing a consent order.
“This man caused me a lot of pain. I suffered in many ways. There is no way I can accept K7 million. I incurred so many costs and I also need to pay the lawyer.
“I do not recognise the consent order. As far as I am concerned, the case is continuing in court and the order is being withdrawn,” Kaunda said on Friday.
Both Mbulo and Mwafulirwa did not pick up their phones on several attempts.
But Mhone said Kaunda is lucky that the lawyers reached a K7 million settlement, saying if it were him making the offer, he would not have offered more than K500 000.
“Who wants to part ways with millions? I would offer him K500 000,” said Mhone.
However, he said the issue of assessment of costs is a court issue and whatever the court has settled for is reasonable.