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IN one of the most unusual decisions yet to come out of Kenya’s constitutional court division, Judge Chacha Mwita has upheld a claim by a former member of that country’s defence force, that he was unlawfully detained for over four years until 1986. The court found it could consider the case, even though the events took place so long ago, and has awarded damages of almost R900 000, plus costs and interest.
Justice Dingake, Co-Chair of the African Think Tank on HIV, Health and Social Justice, highlights the ongoing prejudice against the LGBTI community across Africa, and calls on the Commonwealth to accelerate action for LGBTI equality and equitable access to services.
Depending on the sources you consult, Malawi’s infamous Cashgate corruption scandal involved between MWK236 billion and MWK577 billion of public funds. This wholesale looting of government money was made possible by loopholes in state financial systems, exploited by a wide range of people over a number of years. While trials are continuing, the most recent accused to be sentenced was a former top official in the ministry of tourism, Leonard Karonga. Carmel Rickard takes a look at some of the difficult challenges faced by the court in deciding his punishment.
FREEDOM of the press and other media, as well as the safety of journalists, were all given a boost this week with a major new decision by Lesotho’s constitutional court. Three judges sitting in the high court’s constitutional division – Moroke Mokhesi, ‘Maseforo Mahase and Teboho Moiloa – have found that criminal defamation, long used as a threat against journalists and the media, is unconstitutional. This decision adds Lesotho to the growing list of African jurisdictions where criminal defamation has been repealed.
FOR the second time this year, the political authorities in Lesotho are involved in major litigation that threatens the independence of the judiciary. As Carmel Rickard writes, the latest shock is the government’s determined efforts to get rid of Lesotho’s first woman chief justice, Nthomeng Majara.