Outspoken Malawi human rights campaigner and social commentator Billy Mayaya on Monday accused the Executive and Judiciary for e overstepping their bounds as branches of government by interfering with the legislative arm – National Assembly.
Mayaya told a news conference at Crossroads Hotel in the capital Lilongwe on Monday that the legislature is being suffocated by Executive arrogance and aided by the Judiciary.
He was reacting to Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal 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.
Supreme Court judge Frank Kapanda granted the the injunction on Friday and was served on Speaker Rciahrd Msowoya and the acting Clerk of Parliament Roosevelt Gondwe stopping Parliament the Speaker from making his determination on the matter unless a judicial review is heard.
“Members of the civil society are not happy with the conduct of the Executive arm of government which is using judiciary to interfere with Parliament. Time has come and now is the time that the principle of separation of powers should be uphold,” said Mayaya.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Member of Parliament for Salima North West Dr Jessie Kabwila and Billy Mayaya, petitioned office of the Speaker, to kick out the UDF MPs who recently moved to government side.
But despite a Supreme Court order, Mayaya said it “doesn’t prohibit the Speaker from proceeding with the ruling.”
“It is therefore legally possible for the Speaker to still take action to invoke Section 65 as he will be acting within his jurisdiction as Speaker of the National Assembly , i.e using the legal concept of the separation of powers. both the Executive and Legislature are overstepping their bounds as branches of government and impeding the Speakers right to make a determination whether or not to invoke section 65,” said Mayaya.
UDF’s 11 MPs seated on the government side has increased DPP’s numerical strength in the 193-member National Assembly to 63.
If the Speaker invokes Section 65 on UDF, the MPs not affected by the move are the party’s leader in the House Lucius Banda – who did not relocate, party president Atupele Muluzi as well as Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Clement Chiwaya.
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