MK110billion land claim case close to completion

The Assistant Registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal in Blantyre, Hussein Ibrahim, has this morning issued directions to parties in the case in which two claimants, Rajesh Hathirimani and Deepak Hathirimani, are claiming over K110 billion compensation for land government acquired in 1981 in Chirimba, Blantyre.

The court has ordered the claimants to file their final written submissions within 21 days, after which the defendants, including the Hon. the Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda, representing the State, will respond within 14 days. 

Then the claimants, the court ordered further, will also be allowed seven days of right to respond. When all this is done, the court is expected to make its determination within 21 days as per the rules.

The claimants are administrators of the Estate of Kamila Gobindram Hathirimani, their late father.

Government, through the Land Acquisition Act, acquired 14 hectares of what they claim was their land in Chirimba.

On Tuesday, counsel for the plaintiffs, Samuel Tembenu, cross-examined government witnesses Mr. Mavuto Phula, a lecturer in Land Economy at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) and Ms. Cynthia Chilima, Deputy Director of Valuation in the Ministry of Lands.

The State contends that the land value of over K110 billion as put by the claimants is unrealistic and with no legal backing. 

Government, through its engagement with expert valuers, has put the land in question within the range of K4 to K10 million.

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