Malawi’s former First Lady Callista Mutharika and her step-children, who are fighting over the ownership of the opulent Casa Blanca Manor at Ndata Farm in Thyolo, have opted to settle their differences out of court.

Meyer Chisanga, who is representing Callista, informed the court on Thursday that the two parties have decided to give negotiations a chance.

Callista obtained an ex parte injunction in October, restraining Bineth Trustees from evicting her from the house.

On Thursday, the court was expected to hear both sides.

It would have made a decision of whether to discharge the injunction or maintain its validity.

Said Chisanga: “The parties have been talking and have decided to give negotiations a chance. In order to carry out meaningful negotiations, the parties have decided that this matter be adjourned sine die [an adjournment without assigning a day for a further hearing].”

Bineth Trustees lawyer Alfred Majamanda also observed that the negotiations will pave way for an out-of-court settlement.

High Court judge Joseph Manyungwa, who was presiding over the case, welcomed the decision to give negotiations a chance.

“The court welcomes out -of-court settlements. They save on time and costs,” said Manyungwa.

He advised that the parties are at liberty to go back to court.

The two parties are embroiled in another legal fight after Callista recently obtained letters of administration of former president Bingu wa Mutharika’s estate.

The letters of administration effectively meant that Callista was in control of Mutharika’s estate, including Ndata Farm.

But Bingu’s children, Madalitso, Tapiwa and Duwa, obtained an injunction restraining Callista from administering the estate.

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