Another injunction on Section 65 as Phoya defends Speaker

The High Court registry in Mzuzu has granted another injunction restraining Speaker of Parliament, Henry Chimunthu Banda, from applying anti- defection law Section 65.

High Court in Lilongwe stopped Speaker from making a ruling against 46 MPs deemed to have crossed the floor as per the dictates of Section 65 of the Constitution.

Ntcheu West MP Chikumbutso John Hiwa obtained an injunction which was served on the Speaker through Attorney General and Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara just minutes before he came into the Chamber to pronounce his ruling.

Mwanza: Obtain injunction

This was after opposition DPP presented additional evidence that its former members crossed the floor when they joined ruling PP.

But DPP withdrew the petitions rendering the injunction invalid and later submitted a fresh petition which prompted Mzimba Solola MP Patrick Akimu Mwanza to obtain another injunction.

Justice Dingiswayo Madise granted the injunction on Monday, according to Mwanza’s lawyer Victor Gondwe of Jonny Tennison law firm.

Meanwhile, leader of government in Parliament, Henry Phoya has defended the ruling made by Speaker on Section 65, arguing it was proper to accord affected MPs rules of natural justice.

Chimunthu Banda dismissed the application by former ruling party DPP to declare seats for those MPs who had dumped their parties represented in Parliament and joined PP on argument that there was no proof to support the allegations.

“I don’t want to go into legalities of Section 65, but there was a need to veil all those MPs affected by the Section in regards to rules of natural justice,” Phoya told Capital FM.

“You can’t expect the Speaker to receive application on Section 65 and make a ruling on the allegations without allowing the MPs defend themselves, and that’s against rules of natural justice,” Phoya said.

Phoya , a trained lawyer, said apart from allowing rules of natural justice taking its course, it was also proper for DPP to provide proof on the allegations raised against the targeted legislators before the Speaker makes his ruling.

About 40 legislators were expected to have their seats declared vacant following DPP’s application to the Speaker to apply the controversial section.

A constitutional lawyer Edge Kanyongolo has said the Section 65 matter is a straightforward issue which only needs adherence to procedures and that the aggrieved should be heard.

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