The government has committed itself to pay K20 million in damages for false imprisonment to five men arrested along with Ralph Kasambara, now Attorney General and Minister of Justice, in January this year on kidnapping and wounding charges.
Kasambara’s accomplices were Brian Magoya, Arthur Chikankheni, Ali Kaka, Mayamiko Kadango and Patrick Gadama.
This has been indicated in a consent order dated July 30, 2012 signed by a lawyer from Ralph and Arnolds Associates, Attorney General Kasambara and Deputy Registrar of the High Court of Malawi Nyakwawa Usiwausiwa.
The consent was arrived at as a condition for withdrawal of a contempt of court lawsuit which Kasambara and his accomplices had filed against top police officers for defying court bail and release order demanding their immediate release.
“By mutual consent by the parties through their legal practitioners, it is hereby ordered and adjudicated… that all the above listed actions be and hereby stand wholly and effectively withdrawn forthwith.
“That the said damages and party cost be and are hereby mutually and consensually agreed at the total sum of K20, 000,000 (Twenty million kwacha),” reads the order in part.
The order further states that it is the office of the Attorney General which shall see to it that the money is paid out.
“That damages for false imprisonment and party cost for the above listed actions are payable by the Attorney General,” it reads.
Police arrested and re-arrested Kasambara and his accomplices for allegedly assaulting some thugs who wanted to attack his at his offices at Magalasi in Blantyre in January this year.
Despite Blantyre Magistrates Court and High Court principal registry in Blantyre issuing bail and release orders respectively, the suspects were still detained until contempt of court lawsuit was filed against the police.
The officers who were sued were Head of Criminal Investigations Lexa Chalera, Southern Region Police Commissioner Rodney Jose, Head of Criminal Investigations FB Mkuka and Urban Criminal Investigations Officer Carolyn Jere.
But after Kasambara was appointed Attorney General and Justice Minister in April this year, his lawyer Lusungu Gondwe told this paper that Kasambara had opted to drop the case.
Gondwe, however, indicated that the remaining five complainants were the ones continuing with the proceedings to ensure that court rulings are obeyed.