The case in which Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) tenants have been protesting a 43 percent rental hike is going back to court on April 18 as the tenants have applied for the restoration of the case through lawyer Bernard Sitolo.
On August 30 last year, the High Court sitting in Zomba had granted the tenants leave to apply for judicial review and the court, as consequential interlocutory relief, also granted them an order of stay of the decision by MHC to increase rentals with effect from September 1.
The case was supposed to go for mediation on October 27, 2017 by Chancellor College’s Dean of law Garton Kamchedzera before the hearing of the judicial review on October 30.
However, On October 30, the court through judge Redson Kapindu vacated the injunction obtained by the tenants and consequently dismissed the application for judicial review as lawyer representing the tenants Maxwell Tembo failed to show up on both occasions.
By dismissing the injunction and an application for judicial review, the court automatically gave the corporation power to proceed with the rental increment.
The court has since set April 18, 2018 as the date for inter-parte hearing and to analyze merits and demerits on why the case should continue.
In a telephone interview, spokesperson for the tenants Goodnews Mphande confirmed the development to Nation Online saying they felt the intention of the case was not met.
“We are going back to court because the original intention was not met, our previous lawyer disappointed us. We still maintain that the rental hike is unreasonable and tenants are suffering. As I am talking now some have had their houses looked up because they are failing to pay.
As you are aware most of the tenants in such houses are those on low income, widows and orphans. However, much as the corporation is now operating as a commercial entity, it is not fair that it should aim at making 100 percent profits,” said Mphande.