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Court stops Malawi from seizing refugee’s containers

By Tiyanjane Nandie Mambucha

The High Court of Malawi has granted an order for an interlocutory injunction, restraining Minister of Homeland Security and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services from seizing nine containers belonging to a refugee, Sylvestre Bizimana.

The injunction further restrains disrupting his business and forcing him and his family to move from Lilongwe to Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa until after the determination of the judicial review or until a further order is made by the court.

The claimant filed an application on May 18, 2023 before Justice Howard Pemba for permission to commence judicial review of the Minister of Homeland Security and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services (defendants) decision to force him and his family to move to Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

The claimant also applied for an interlocutory injunction, restraining the defendants from, among others, forcing him and his family to move to Dzaleka Refugee Camp until the final determination of the judicial review.

In a judicial review cause number 20 of 2023, Justice Howard Pemba granted permission to Sylvestre Bizimana to apply for judicial review while the application for an interlocutory injunction was ordered to come for an inter-partes hearing on May 25, 2023.

Minister of Homeland Security and Director General of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services as 1st and 2nd defendants respectively did not show up and no reason was proffered to the court by the defendants for their failure to attend the hearing.

According to the order, in view of these circumstances, the court allowed the claimant, Bizimana, to proceed with the hearing in the absence of the defendants.

Bizimana, in his application for judicial review, claims to be a Malawian after following all due processes, and he attached documentary evidence to prove he is a Malawian.

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