-Daughters ordered to pay within 14 days
-Lawyers entitled to 5%

A private practice lawyer has sued former president late Bingu wa Mutharika’s daughters Duwa Mubaira and Tapiwa Mutharika and his estate for failure to pay a law firm an entitlement of 5 percent of the value of the estate estimated at K61,350,437,237.62.

The suit was filed in the commercial division of the High Court in Lilongwe on June 20 by lawyers for the firm Gift Nankhuni and Partners as “the defendants have, despite several reminders, been uncooperative and unwilling to pay the plaintiff for the services rendered”.

According to court documents in our possession, the lawyer Francis Nyarai Ndende of Francis Franklin and Company is claiming K3,573,662,968.00, K250,000.00 (being disbursements), interest of the totals at current bank lending rate and that the Mutharikas pay for court costs.

The claim is for legal services rendered in helping Duwa and Tapiwa obtain letters of administration in respect of the intestate property of their late father, according to the statement.

According to the Legal Practitioners’ (Scale and Minimum Charges) rules made under the Legal Education and Legal Practitioners’ Act Chapter 3:04 of the Laws of Malawi, legal firms are entitled to charge their clients 5 percent of the value of a deceased estate.

On June 24, 2013, the court ordered the Mutharikas to, within 14 days, either satisfy the claim or indicate that they will be contesting it failing which judgement will be entered without notice.

Francis Franklin and Company claims to have and/or have had possession of documents relating to the Mutharikas’ desire to obtain the letters of administration.

The documents, according to court records, include correspondence from the Ministry of Justice to National Bank of Malawi, Standard Bank of Malawi, First Merchant Bank Limited, United Nations Federal Credit Union, Standard Bank Jersey Limited, Continental Discount House, Standard Chartered Bank Limited and Barclays Bank Limited.

There is also correspondence from Regional Commissioner for Lands to the Surveyor General. Judge Ken Manda is presiding over the matter. – By Gabriel Kamlomo

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