Court sparks ‘constitutional crisis’, claims Malawi MP

The Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal has sparked a “constitutional crisis” by their decision to grant 11 United Democratic Front (UDF) members of Parliament (MPs) an injunction pending judicial review in a case where they sought redress on Speaker Richard Msowoya’s impending decision on their status based on Section 65 of the Constitution.

Mhone: Emerging constitution crisis

Mhone: Emerging constitution crisis

Member of Parliament for Nkhata Bay Central (People’s Party -PP), Ralph Mhone made the comment in parliament after Speaker informed the House that Supreme Court judge Frank Kapanda has stopped Msowoya from invoking Standing Order 207(4) “by demanding the applicants [UDF MPs] to within seven days, respond to a petition on Section 65 of the Constitution presented by [activist] Billy Mayaya.”

Earlier, High Court judge Healey Potani rebuffed the UDF MPs on the basis that their application was premature as the Speaker had not yet made a decision.

“We believe in separation of powers. That is what the founders of our Constitution put down in it. In that separation of powers, Right Honourable Speaker, we ought to be very terrified if at one point or another, the Judiciary appears not to be doing what it is supposed to do under the Constitution,” Mhone said.

Mhone, a lawyer by profession, said a constitutional crisis is sparked “when the Judiciary appears to be asking other branches of the government not to carry out their functions .”

He added: “ One branch of government is interfering in the way the other branch of government is supposed to function. That is a constitutional crisis, Mr Speaker, Sir.”

Commenting on the same matter, man of the moment in the current sitting of parliament Kamlepo Kalua a PP member of parliament for Rumphi East, put the blame firmly at the door of the judges.

He said “ It is a sad moment for this country that the Supreme Court of Appeal is, once again, interfering with the House of lawmakers. I am talking about the National Assembly.

“This House does not interfere with their work. Neither are we involved in their judgements. Why should they be involved in the activities of the National Assembly? It is irregular and very sad for democracy. We should not tolerate this. This House must be independent. .”

The Speaker said his communication is not subject for debate.

But the highly respected backbencher said he was making a point of order.

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47 thoughts on “Court sparks ‘constitutional crisis’, claims Malawi MP”

  1. zaluma says:

    Can you compare Kamlepo the patriotic Malawi to a muchona APM who is a coward. Kamlepo is a genius. He is principled and the only person all Malawians should emulate. I am not from the north but northerners have made a significant contribution to the nation politically and economically. We from central (inu agule) and ifeyo southerners let us appreciate these guys. There is appoint in whatever they are uttering.

  2. The captain says:

    Kkkk mwati kapanda sanatafune?

  3. Changoima Boy says:

    Judiciary is doing its work,INTERPRETING the constitution.Inu a lawyer Mhone zoona simukudziwa kuti everyone has the right to be heard and that an injuction is just a tempolary relief waiting for full interpretation?

  4. Du wa Du says:

    We have

    We have Ghambi and Kamwambi from north in DPP colour and can’t utter a word in Parliament. Bravo Kamlepo protect a true son of Karonga.

  5. Foxyandy says:

    Section 65 is poising a problem through all the parties that have been inthe government and at the same time favoured all the governments at one time or another.Is Section 65 good or bad? Why not review it or otherwise ……?

  6. kabotolokamo says:

    Malawi will never change , Atumbuka this , Atumbuka that , ! it makes me wonder what kind of people we are becoming . We divide ourselves and expect to make any progress !?? Learn from animals like ants and bees , they never call each other names , they are just a colony and they make such a mazing progress !

  7. Mbanangwa says:

    Most comments on this page are being mad by lay men. Let the lawyers give the real direction. If a lawyer sees that there is a ‘constitutional crisis’, it just means that. Take the word of Ralph.

  8. ochewa says:

    Let us advise and keep enlightening them. We are all one adati atumbuka or alomwe. Let us unite guys. Iwe mlomwe listen to good advice by the northerners.

  9. Tengupenya says:

    democracy is failed. suspend the entire constitution ….

  10. I am not a Tumbuka but to be objective the arguments of these Mps are very well understood. How can the judiciary act in that way? How can the whole govt decide to dine when civil servants havent been paid? We have a hospital in Mwanza where both sexes are admitted in the same room and the minister just acknowledges the problem without

  11. Lord Denning Chatsika says:

    But hon mhone this is not a constitutional crisis it is just a judicial miscalculated judgement

  12. ...igwe says:

    …further, the injunction is only providing relief until the conclusion of the Judicial Review. The Judicial Review would provide direction on how the issue of UDF MPs should be handled by Parliament

  13. ...igwe says:

    ..legally there is no need to jump into fear of Constitutional Crisis before establishing the type of injunction that has been granted. At this level one would expect that this is an interim injunction, hence, it opens room for the Parliament to challenge it and have it vacated. That would be within the legal norms upholding the Constitution. However, if the Court has issued a permanent order, not allowing Parliament to challenge it at all, yes, we would be in Constitutional Crisis. Nevertheless, before reaching the Constitutional Crisis, there are still two remedies available…1st Appeal to the Full Bench of Supreme Court and lastly appealing to the Constitutional Court. We may want to be reminded that one of the conditions for granting an injunction is that “the appelant can show that his or her prima face right is suffering or likely to suffer irreparable harm by action or ommission of the respondent”. In Parliamentary Representation, the mere speculation to invoke Section 65 is enough reason for affected or likely affected MPs to seek protection of the Court. However, such a protection once granted, cannot last forever, The Parliament has all the discretion to challenge it. My take on this is that Judge Kapanda has duly discharged his duties, he has taken a due decision based on merits.

  14. Chikopa says:

    Hon Mhone, UDF sought legal advice before they changed seating plan. The Attorney General who is the Government Lawyer was requested to interpret the connotations of Section 65 and he had no problem. The Speaker was duly advised and he did not warn the UDF guys of any implications. This is a coalition arrangement and not absorption of one party by another. This was the case between 1994 and 1998 (UDF and AFORD). Bambo Mhone, please do not over portray your immerse hatred over the Lomwes. The Speaker should be impeached. Chakwera is a fucker and messed up that seat as it was supposed to be occupied by one of three gurus vis-a-vis Njobvuyalema, Belekanyama or Makala Ngozo. This is a problem of allowing foreigners from the north to takeover MCP.

  15. George phiri says:

    The issue here is simple and straight forward. UDF doesnt learn from their past. Even jesus learnt through experience. Its wise to look back and learn something what burnt your finger. The issue is simple; UDF mps should face by-elections and lets see if they will go back to parliament. If people aupport what you have done then surely they will put you back in the house. Sometimes we should try these things and see how it goes as we enjoy the drama. Mr speaker sir; declare the seats vacant tikukufuna campaign ife.

  16. Twakwalakwa says:

    Kodi Atumbuka inu mukulimbana ndi ma MP oti si anu bwanji. Agalu inu muziphunzira kulemekeza anzanu. Stupid Mhone, stupid Kamlepo! By the way, why is it that it is always Kamlepo, Kamlepo. I think he is too excited to finally make it to Parliament after 5 attempts. Shame, lets hear other MPs from the north.

    1. Think Tank says:

      The man you call stupid is the reason you have free speech and opinionTwakwalakwa. He fought a fight which resulted into freedom of expression. Henry Chipembere said,”the villains of today are the heros of tomorrow.” When are going to belong to Malawi? You still are a tribe. Welcome to Malawi. Join us and become a Malawian

  17. Lord Denning Chatsika says:

    Ma court a kumalawi afunika revamp seems they are deliberately departing from sound legal reasoning akupanga zawozawo a chief justice pangani reform judiciary ifunika ikhale ya nzeru and independent yosaopa

  18. mtumbuka 1 says:

    The judiciary is totally corrupt. People like potani ,mbendera still have an ugly monkey on their backs regarding the fraudulent election result where peter was declared a winner so they owe Malawians an apology. Kalua is right the house is independent and must be treated as such. The speaker has not yet said anything but here you are, rushing to the court that’s paranoia of the highest degree and you know if the axe falls and the section 65 is applied to those desperate udf members, the potani’s and his company will lose the blue ban that is stuffed in their mouths. Malawi never ceases to amaze me.

  19. mleme says:

    A lot of useless MPs in the august house-constitutional crisis my foot!

  20. Kavuluvulu says:

    That is why some of us did not study Law. It is a confused profession. On the same issue , one Judge says this and another says that. Blue shit kkkkkkkkkkkk !

  21. mkandawire mwenechanya says:

    let us leave the judiciary alone. when the late bingu talked about the judiciary u said he is interfering with. Now the very same pple are complaining I don’t understand u. Let us leave the judiciary do its work . let me school them that judicial review is part of the constitution which is the supreme law of the land is important. parliament does not have the power to interprete the constitution. period.

  22. Koma ya says:

    Kuwona mtu…….woyera ndikudekha kkkkk. Mhoneyutu ndi woyera kwawoko. Ndi mzungu ameneyu kkkk one in a million kkkkkkk.

  23. Phwado says:

    If indeed Parliament must be independent according to the constitution,why can’nt you just go ahead with your business and ignore these assholed judges?The speaker must just go ahead as required by the constitution,ignoring interference of the corrupt judiciary.If they poke their conjested noses into parliamentary affairs just teach them about what it means about separation of powers.If you lend them your ears and act according to their rulings then indeed you must be dunderheads!

  24. If there is a judge who deserve no respect is Justice Kapanda. If u have followed him very well, most of his decisions have sparked controvesy.

  25. Mphodogoma says:

    LETTER TO MHONE

    Courts do not interfere with anybody’s territory at all. But its the duty of Courts to look into anybody who is injuried and needs to offset the injury. That is the reason why the courts get involved in family matters regardless that there is ankhoswe. Courts are the laws of the land. Remember we say that nobody is above the laws. Equally the same that nobody is above courts who are custodians of Laws in Malawi. Any misagreement in Malawi is sorted out by courts unless you use arbitration systems. Being members of parliament does not take away your rights to be heard for proper redress of you sufferings. Laws are not selective.The execution of law does no injury.Let execution of law takes place. Why do you fear arms of laws?That is Mrs namalokoism. Please use different legal instruments before coming up with argument, like maxims of law.

  26. wawishi says:

    l hope PP MP’s have learnt a bitter lesson, you clapped hands when DPP ,UDF and MCP MP’s left their camps two years a go. muyezo omwe ukuyeza nawo anzako nawenso azakuyeza ndi omwewo.

  27. Pichi says:

    As far as I know the three parts of Govt should check each other too. Critique each other too.

  28. Gulugufe says:

    Hahaha! Kamlepo man of the moment of the current sitting, coz of his idiotic comments?

    Ada a Mhone Ralph enjoy your one term in parliament! By the way, nkhani ya compensation from UK ija uiyamba liti? Nalikukuti wachabechabe!

  29. Kaponda says:

    Are you surprised? debarred lawyers who are later appointed judges are always political stooges. Akulu amnewa olo ku mpingo wa Katimba amachita kukhala ngati ali ku High Court.

  30. kaya says:

    I agree with Mhone and Kamlepo. The injunction by Justice Kapanda is careless senseless thoughless and out of legal reasoning. How can the court restrain the speaker at the time he has not initiated any process to apply section 65 of the Constitution? I fail to understand why the judge failed to follow the sound and intelligent reasoning of his fellow Potani who earlier on refused to grant the injunction because there was no action by the speaker???/Abale inu ma court athu atani kodi? No consistence, very irrelevant and just follows the strong current without reason mukutipangitsa manyazi

    Ndiponso kachizungu kakuti (prior restraint) kanatha kalekale in other jurisdictions shat up Malawian judiciary

  31. Moni says:

    Ada Mhone and Kaluwa, it weren’t a constitutional crisis when Henry Phoya, Ken Lipenga, Kachali, Matola, Mwechumu, Kuntsaira, Gwengwe etc.. sought courts injunctions, when they left their parties and joined your PP? It weren’t a crisis when all but one Aford MPs left it and joined DPP? It weren’t a crisis when multitudes left UDF and joined DPP and your PP? It has become a crisis today because who got the injunction are for the UDF party? Do you want to say that those leaving UDF party has more rights than those staying in UDF? Are UDF MPs less Malawian than those that were allowed, and you clapping hands to the courts decisions then? Those above glaringly left their parties and joined your party or DPP, wearing or using those party’s symbols, chanting those party’s slogans after they resigned from UDF, DPP and MCP, but courts still granted them injunctions. According to you, that weren’t a constitutional crisis, but it’s a crisis today because it involves UDF? BE ASHAMED WITH YOUR GLARING HETRED. MALAWI LAWS ARE TO PROTECT EVERY CITIZEN. THEY’RE NOT FOR THE PROTECTION OF YOUR COMORADES ONLY. STOP THIS UNNECESSARY UDF HETRED, AND LET’S BUILD MALAWI TOGETHER. NO ONE IS LESS MALAWIAN THAN THE OTHER.

  32. pragmatic boy says:

    Even a layman can see that the judge erred on issuing injuction to another arm of government before it had completed its processing of determining whether the MPs had crossed the flow or not.

  33. Balamanthu says:

    Ralph Mhone has clearly shown his intellect and his understanding of the separation of powers between the various arms of government.The injunction should not have been granted.

  34. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Hon. Mhone, remember our opposition MPz are very weak and always disappoint us. How can opposition MPz wait for Billy Mayaya to push for implimentation of section 65 while MPz there drinking coffee together.

    So judicary is taking advantage of your weaknesses. How come no MP applied for remaval of the injuction. Parliament is weak thus a fact.

  35. Stanley says:

    Why is opposition forming? If you understand word ,injunction doesn’t mean prevention its temporary relief to hear what other side worry about, and if the judge hear their side he will rule for or against, osisa mmakape bad before MSB sale others went to court to stop the sale and judge told it’s beyond their mondate, its executives business, palibe anatinyasa lero zikomere mbuzi, noh opposition will never be given a chance because they don’t want to respect the courts

  36. umziya says:

    The same Judges supported these failing people to win the election. Now they are doing the same here. These MPs must go…period

  37. Donald says:

    Hon. Kamlepo is right, the judiciary has intefered in the work of another arm of govt in this case, this decision should have been made after the speaker had made a decision on the same……

  38. clement says:

    Kenyatta Nyirenda alone voted that APM had won an election. Now Kapanda upholds this govt. DPP, u hv four years to go; mukwanisa kudalira ma judge? Malawi, a country of injunctions. Speaker sanagamule inu mwathamanga kale ku khoti. Mwina agamula mokomela inu. If u r so much afraid of sec 65 why did u cross floor to govt benches?

  39. Noxy says:

    Nkhani zopanda phindu !

  40. Nyau Isthobwa says:

    Ambendera, Kenyatta zoona munadya ndalama koma dziwani ichi ngati siinu ndi ana anu omwe dzaone zowawa kuyambira lero dziwerengani Baibo

  41. Think Tank says:

    The best way is just to scrap it from our statutes. At the way the things go regarding Section 65,it will never work. It is useless. Judges have justification of their own at the cost of justice itself. MPs do whatever they want knowing there is a judge to rescue them.

  42. Alufeyo says:

    Kapanda is right to stop Msowoya in his plot against UDF. The judiciary must not allow stupidity and insanity to prevail. UDF MPs did not cross the floor. Who is Mayaya galu wamaso ngati njoka

  43. Roots says:

    I thought its an issue of the law. Would they grant judicial review if am caught stealing a goat in the village? Why stopping the due process of the law? Shame to our unethical and old judges. Mwakalamba kazipitani kumudzi.

  44. Atcheya says:

    Hahahhhhhh….I like Kamlepo. this guy should have been voted into parliament in 1994!

  45. Alfred Munduwabo says:

    Don’t forget that Peter is a president because of the son of the Late Bazala Nyirenda and Emmy Kaliya’s brother. In short the courts are shielding Peter till 2019.

  46. mangochi kabwafu says:

    Malawi, full of THICK people. To hell with these so called judges who are just there to try and support this failing gvt.

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