Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi has filed for defamation against Vice-President Saulos Chilima for stating that the minister masterminded the torching of a Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) warehouse in Lilongwe in 2014.
Documents filed in the High Court of Malawi Lilongwe District Registry by legal firm Mbeta & Company on May 8 2019 acting on behalf of Dausi, who is also spokesperson of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), show that the minister is claiming damages from Chilima for suggesting that he torched MEC warehouse in 2014 on the eve of a court-ordered recount of votes for the parliamentary election in Lilongwe City South East Constituency.
Speaking on behalf of Chilima, who is presidential candidate for the newest registered political outfit UTM Party, economic affairs officer in the Office of the Vice-President Milward Tobias said the Vice-President was yet to be served with the court documents.
He said: “We can’t comment because we haven’t been served with the court documents. We will comment after we have seen what we have been charged with.”
The statement of claim says that Chilima on or about April 30 this year, during a whistle-stop tour of Chitipa and Rumphi in the Northern Region, made statements that are defamatory of Dausi.
The statement quotes Chilima, the country’s estranged Vice-President, as having told political rallies that “DPP leaders should go and return MEC cameras which they had stolen because they are the same people, led by Dausi, who torched the MEC warehouse in 2014”.
Further, the statement says Chilima challenged that he would be available should he be needed to explain.
But the court documents do not quantify Dausi’s claim as his lawyer, Frank Farook Mbeta, said the amount for damages would be decided by the court.
Chilima ditched DPP last June to launch his presidential bid on the ticket of UTM Party. Since his decision to challenge his boss President Peter Mutharika, there has been bad blood between Chilima and the DPP administration. n