Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has been ordered to appear at High Court in Lilongwe on April 10 2018 in a case against the party’s suspended Secretary General Gustav Kaliwo who called for convention.
Chakwera did not come to court on Monday with his the party lawyer Charles Mhone saying he was away in the Northern Region and could not make it at the hearing.
The lawyer asked the court for “more time” so that Chakwera could attend the hearing.
Kaliwo—a lawyer by profession – was at the court with one of MCP district chairpersons, Lackson Khamalatha and their lawyer Powell Nkhutabasa.
The emergency convention, according to Kaliwo, was proposed following concerns from its regional and district leaders who are not pleased with the party’s leadership.
But in June last year Chakwera, who is also leader of opposition, obtained a court injunction stopping Kaliwo from calling an emergency convention from July 7 to 9 with parallel structures.
In his sworn affidavit, Chakwera said the MCP chairpersons Kaliwo was using to call for the convention , including Khanalatha, who is first defendant, relinquished their positions and had no powers to summon a convention.
But lawyer Nkhutabasa asked the court to strike off Chakwera’s affidavit and dismiss the whole matter, saying it was clear that MCP and Chakwera were not keen to proceed with it.
“By not appearing in court today, it shows lack of keenness to prosecute the matter despite a clear order to that effect we requested Chakwera to be available for cross examination in the case,” Nkhutabasa said.
Judge Charles Mkandawire adjourned the matter and said he has given Chakwera one last chance to appear before the court on April 10 2018.
“The party and Chakwera would be given a last opportunity to attend court,” said Mkandawire.
If Chakwera fails again to appear before the court , the judge warned that he will be compelled to “issue sanctions , including dismissing or striking out the matter.”
In recent months, MCP has been having internal wrangles that have seen the party divided and it has since called for elective convention next month ahead of the 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :