The High Court has slashed by almost two thirds of the K256 million demanded by Women Lawyers Association’s (WLA) as legal fees for representing women in Msundwe are of Lilongwe who claimed to have been raped and abused by Police.
Justice Kenyatta Nyirenda described the costs as unreasonable and set the figure of K70 million.
The demanded costs caused uproar and reminded the public the K7 billion bill the tax payers had to cough to lawyers representing President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima in elections dispute case that led to fresh elections and their eventual win in
Both the WLA and the elections case lawyers claimed they were offering pro-bono services.
In 2020, WLA represented several women and girls who were sexually assaulted raped by police officers at Nsundwe, Mpingu and Mbwatalika trading centres in Lilongwe.
The women got very little compensation than their lawyers. The 18 women were paid between K4 million to K10 million according to a WLA statement issued in July 2020.
The public was angered with the K255.6 million claimed by the WLA and this has brought debate on what legal fees structure in Malawi entails.
Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda had applied for a review of the costs.