Malawi Supreme court favours Khato on Salima-Lilongwe Water Project

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-The Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal judges on Thursday throw away an objection application in which two civil society organisations (CSOs) want  to replace the Malawi Law Society (MLS) in the Salima-Lilongwe Water Project case

The two CSOs—Youth and Society (YAS) and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) wanted the case to back to the High Court of Malawi to determine the legality of the project in respect of awarding of the contract to Khato Civils Limited as well as commencement of work without an environmental impact assessment (EIA) report.

The ruling  comes just weeks after government signed a deal with a financier of the MK400 billion Lilongwe-Salima Project, Trissag Espanola of South Africa, effectively putting on course the project that has faced several hurdles.

YAS and CHRR, through private practice lawyer Bright Theu, appealed the matter to the full bench after a single Supreme Court of Appeal judge Lovemore Chikopa dismissed their application on December 22 2017.

But the nine judge has thrown away the application saying the two organisation have no legal mandate to stop the project.

Recently, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Goodall Gondwe told local press that government had nothing to do with matters on the project as the issue is currently in court.

MLS wanted the High Court to review a decision by Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) to award Khato Holdings a contract for the project before an EIA was done.

But Chikopa dismissed the case, stating that all parties in the matter before the High Court ceased to exist upon the expiry or elapsing of time MLS should have filed substantive summons for leave for judicial review.

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