Court reinstates Malawi Congress Party officials in Mzuzu

By Collins Mtika, Nyasa Times

The High Court in the northern Malawi city of Mzuzu has stopped Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president John Tembo and other members of the party from expelling 30 members of the party’s Mzuzu district committee and ordered to recognize them.

The party leadership fired the members after the committee aligned itself to reinstated Secretary General Dr. Chris Daza whom the party had earlier expelled.

According to an affidavit filed in court, on instructions from Tembo, the 30 officials from Mzuzu district committee were fired on January 11 2013 at a party meeting at Jombo in Mzimba District chaired by MCP regional chairperson (North) James Kaunda.

Daza: MCP secretary general aspiring to be its president

Daza: MCP secretary general aspiring to be its president

Judge Dingiswayo Madise made the order on Wednesday after the committee successfully filed for an injunction through Mzuzu based prominent lawyer George Jivason Kadzipatike of Jivason and Company.

Under Civil Cause number 07 of 2013, Madise also stopped Tembo and MCP Northern Region Chairperson Kaunda from recognizing those people purported to have been elected on 11thJanuary 2013 to replace the ‘old’ committee until a further order or determination from the court.

“Upon hearing…Kadzipatike, and upon reading the affidavit of Gilbert Chione in support of the application, it is also order that the applicant file interparty summons for injunction within seven days… and that hearing of the said summons be within 14 days,” Madise said.

The Judge also ordered the applicants to file substantive action within seven days from the date of the injunction and also deposit MK50, 000 cash into the court.

“We verily believe that the election of a new committee to replace our committee is null and void and should not be entertained by this honorable court because it breaches principles of natural justice,” Gilbert Chione and 29 others said in an affidavit filed in support of the application.

MCP fired Dr. Daza after he fell out of grace with the Tembo but the High Court sitting in Lilongwe reinstated him.

But in a direct disregard of the Court order, the Party’s National Executive Committee instructed all its structures throughout the country not to associate nor conduct party business with Dr. Daza.

“Realizing that the party was not above the law… and was misleading us into committing contempt of court, we were bound by the court order and the Party’s constitution to obey him in the same manner we obey all Party officials,” Chione and 29 others said in an affidavit filed in support of the application.

The Committee argued among other things that MCP is practicing discrimination because it deliberately failed to hear the committee’s side before making its decision and that the decision was not made in writing.

MCP spokesperson Jolly Kalelo said the party recognises Daza as its secretary general and members were to treat him as such expressing ignorance that some members had been fired for recognising Daza as the MCP secretary general.

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