Former Attorney General (AG), who is now Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Justice Dr. Jane Ansah, has come under court fire for frustrating the process of the court in Reverend Wilson NdomondoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s case of 2009 in which he is fighting for his Machinga South East constituency.
Ndomondo, who won the constituency in 2009, was convicted of the offences of common assault, malicious damage to property and causing grievous bodily harm.
In the case at hand, he is arguing that since another High Court Judge acquitted him of crimes that led to the premature declaration of his seat vacant, he deserves to be sworn in as a Member of Parliament for Machinga South East Constituency since there is no legal basis to stop him from doing so or get monetary compensation.
The High Court in Lilongwe observes in a recent ruling by Justice Ivy Kamanga that the AGÃ‚Â was non-compliant on several times when she failed to appear before the court and did not file defence.
Ndomondo had filed an originating summons against the AG, especially the Speaker seeking a declaration that the AG was not under the Parliamentary and Presidential Act supposed to give Notice declaring NdomondoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s seat vacant and another declaration that he was eligible to be sworn in as an MP after the High Court acquitted him. He was also seeking declaration that the AGÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s conduct had ended up violating his political rights as contained in Section 40 of the Constitution.
The court ordered the AG to pay K500 000 ($2 994) to NdomondoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s counsel and another K150 000 ($898) to the court for non-compliance. The AG has not yet paid the money despite the elapse of 14 days the court gave.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The best I can do is to penalise the Attorney General for the non-compliance in time, that she pays the plaintiffÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s counsel K500 000 and pays to court K150 000 for the blatant disregard of the matter that was before her. This payment is to be made within 14 days,Ã¢â‚¬Â reads the ruling from Justice Ivy Kamanga.
The court expressed displeasure at the conduct of the AG which, it said, showed no seriousness and could be construed as attempts on her part to frustrate or delay the process of the court.
NdomondoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lawyer, Wapona Kita, wrote the AG demanding payment of the fine and AGÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s affidavits
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If we do not receive the cheque by the 30th November, 2011, we shall proceed with necessary action to have the same paid out by yourselves,Ã¢â‚¬Â writes Kita in his letter dated November 23 2011 and addressed to the AG.
Kita said on Thursday that the AG has not yet paid the fine. He said he has filed for full hearing of the case.