Chief Justice determined to clear thin plastics case

The Chief Justice has ordered parties in the long outstanding case on the ban of production of thin plastics to submit to him by May 13 2024 all documentation they have on the case after the case's file is reportedly missing.

The Chief Justice Hon. Rizine Mzikamanda told the parties in the case on Tuesday that the documents he is looking for are for reconstruction of the file to conclude the matter.

The Hon. the Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda appeared before the Chief Justice at the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal to represent the State.

The Chief Justice said options on the case include reconstruction of the file or to rehear the matter.

The parties in the matter, Civil Appeal Cause No. 29 of 2021, are Golden Plastics Limited, the Minister of Environmental Affairs and the AG.

Background of the case is that on 24 May, 2021, the High Court (Commercial Division) in Lilongwe vacated an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the thin plastics regulations and dismissed the judicial review challenging the legality of the thin plastics regulations by the applicant, Golden Plastics Limited.

Thereafter, Malawi Environment Protection Authority ( MEPA) proceeded with inspections, enforcement actions and conducted training workshops for city and district councils on enforcement of plastics regulations.

And around July, 2021, Golden Plastics obtained a stay order at the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, preventing the enforcement of the High Court judgement until an appeal of that judgement was heard and concluded at the Supreme Court.

MEPA through the AG Chambers applied to have the stay order vacated. The hearing of the application to vacate the stay order was scheduled on July 15 2021 but later adjourned several times due to the unavailability of the judge. 

The application to vacate the stay order was finally heard in December 2021 by Justice Lovemore Chikopa, now appointed as Deputy Chief Justice, who reserved his ruling to a later date to be communicated by the court.

To date, the appeal has not been heard and the ruling on the application to vacate the stay order has not been delivered, hence the new directions by the Chief Justice to call for all documents the parties have on the matter.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.