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Alba Iulia
Friday, July 3, 2020

Comesa Court to hear case involving the government of Malawi and a telecommunication company

General News Comesa Court to hear case involving the government of Malawi and a...

Lady justice Lombe Chibesakunda acting Chief Justice
Lady justice Lombe Chibesakunda
ZAMBIAN judge Lombe Chibesakunda and her bench have started hearing a case involving the government of Malawi and a telecommunication company, Malawi Mobile Limited (MML), at the COMESA Court of Justice (CCJ) in Khartoum, Sudan.

According to a statement, the matter before the Appellate Division of the CCJ is an appeal filed by the government of Malawi challenging a ruling made in 2015 by the Court of First Instance stating that the regional court has jurisdiction to hear the case.

In 2005, MML sued the Malawian government and its agency the Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) for revoking its licence on the grounds that the company had failed to fulfil its obligations under an agreement entered between the parties in 2002.

Under the said agreement, the MML was required to roll out public mobile radio telephone services in the country for a period of 15 years.

The case was heard in the Commercial division of the High Court of Malawi. In its judgment, the High Court ruled in favour of MML in respect of loss of profit amounting to K653.7 million (US$66,850.000) plus costs of the suit. However, the government and MACRA successfully appealed in the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal which set aside the judgment of the High Court. This led the MML to seek redress in the CCJ.

Under Article 26 of the COMESA Treaty, the CCJ has jurisdiction to hear a reference from a legal or natural person resident in a Member State concerning the legality of any act, regulation, directive or decision of the COMESA Council or of a Member State on the grounds of unlawfulness or infringement of Treaty provisions.

Such reference can only be made where local remedies in the national courts or tribunals have been exhausted.

After the CCJ admitted the Reference of the case, the government filed an application seeking the dismissal of the said Reference on the grounds that the regional court does not have jurisdiction to entertain it.

The government maintained that the alleged act, the subject of the Reference, did not fall within Article 26 of the COMESA Treaty.

The Appellate Bench comprises Lady Justice Chibesakunda (Zambia) who is also the Judge President, Justice Abdalla Elamin Elbashir (Sudan), Justice Michael Mtambo (Malawi), Justice David Chan Kan Cheong (Mauritius) and Justice Wael Rady (Egypt).

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5 COMMENTS

  1. ITS NOT A GREAT CASE FOR JUDGE LOMBE TO BE SEEN AS IF SHE IS GREAT, THESE ARE OLD SPENT FORCES PLEASE RETIRE AND WAIT FOR YOUR TIME TO BE IN THE GRAVE U HAVE DONE ALOT FOR ZAMBIA NOW WHY WORK IN MALAWI

    • @ANYOKOoo ba guy if you are as dull as you write and you are a a Zambian then the quality of Zambia tells its own story! Phyllis Lombe Chibesakunda is President of the COMES and based in Khartoum, Sudan. To educate you more…“COMESA Court of Justice” or simply as “the Court” established in 1994 is one of the organs of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) created under Article 7 of the COMESA Treaty as a judicial arm of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.

  2. It will take cranes & bulldozers for Malawi to pay US$66,850,000.00. If they are failing to pay Zambia US$34,000,000.00 for maize they have already consumed, how about US$66,850,000.00 to the company they feel that they have every right turn it in any direction they want like a barber shop chair? Malawians don’t like paying for free things like maize & petroleum products.

    • @true Zambian who told you that Malawian government failled to pay $34 000 000 while the deal was still on the process , let me ask you how on earth that one has to pay to the service which had not yet delivered. One more point for you Malawi is not break present tense of broke or bankrupt they is the point that most of the people from outside our country missing so often Malawi is not a poor country the thing is Malawian government is being governed by local Malawians starting from Malawi stock exchange while in most African countries you been governed by white people in another way round and price fixing they is no such way one could say this currency is more valuable to another it’s all about price fixing

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