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.
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :