High Court in Lilongwe on Tuesday adjourned a case in which veteran Parliamentarian Vitus Gomamtunda Dzoole Mwale dragged the party to court asking for interlocutory order restraining main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) from declaring Liana Kakhobwe Chapota as legitimate winner of September 29 primary elections for Lilongwe Msozi South Constituency.
The order was applied pursuant to order 10 rule 27 of 2017 courts procedures further play to Lilongwe High Court never to recognise Kakhobwe as a shadow MP to represent the party.
The action by the court case comes amid reports that Lilongwe Msozi South recently petitioned the party leadership to call for a re-run of the primary elections which took place on 29 September, 2018 at Mwatserere.
MCP, mandated by its constitution, has been holding primary elections in various constituencies but in some constituencies, the process has been marred by ugly scenes of disorder and violence.
But in his brief ruling after Malawi Congress Party applied for the adjournment, Justice Nyirenda adjourned the case to 17 January, 2019 after MCP lawyer Charles Mhone had asked the judge for adjournment since he has just been appointed to represent the party on the case.
Mhone said he requested for the adjournment because he had just been furnished with the court documents.
But Dzoole Mwale’s lawyer Panji Winston Chirwa objected to the Mhone request saying justice delayed is justice denied.
Chirwa said he can only allow adjournment only if the judge can give assurance that MCP as a party will will not issue a certificate recognising Liana Kakhobwe as a shadow MP.
According to affidavits deposited with the court, there were 50 areas, 30 Constituency members and 5 district members who formed the electoral collage.
According to the affidavits candidates who battle it out were Dzoole Mwale and Liana Kakhobwe and that the primaries were presided over by Richard Chimwendo and Peter Chalera.
According to the affidavits, during the voting process 48 areas rallied behind Dzoole Mwale while only two were behind Kakhobwe Chapota. On top of that, all districts and constituency members voted for Dzoole Mwale.
However, according to affidavits Chalera and Chapota left the place leaving behind only Chimwendo Banda who declared Dzoole Mwale
In an interview, Lilongwe Msozi South Constituency Chair Erick Kachama said they were surprised to hear on social media posted by Chalera that alleging that Liana has won.
According to Kachama, the delegates were shocked to learn through whatsapp that Chapota has won.
The constituency committee has been asking the party leadership for a re-run since they felt that they have been robbed of victory.
“We followed all the procedures but we have not been assisted. We love the party and we know MCP is a listening party so to us the court is the only option.” Kachama said.
Kachama added that is surprising for the committee that when they visited the party’s regional office and director of elections’ office they both said they were not aware of the results.
“Just recently, 100 Constituency members stormed the MCP headquarters demanding answers but our secretary general told us that we need to meet the appeals committee but till now, we feel are rights are being political violated,” Kachama said.
Both teams are expected to meet on 18 December, 2018 at Lilongwe High Court.
Just recently, aspiring MP Patrick Bandawe also took to court the party’s hierarchy that overturned results of primary elections in Dedza East by declaring that incumbent MP Juliana Lunguzi was the winner.
Initially, presiding officer Peter Chalera duly declared Bandawe the winner by 821 votes against Lunguzi’s 815 but two days later, party spokesperson Rev. Maurice Munthali said the MCP hierarchy analysed the reports coming from the ground that faulted the head count because Lunguzi had three long queues behind her against Bandawe’s two.
And also that 31 areas did not turn up for the primaries and if they had been present, Lunguzi could have carried the day.
Rev. Munthali also said they got reports that one of the contestants is reported to have coerced people to go behind Bandawe instead Lunguzi’s line. The other contestants were Mussa M’bwana, Steven Biswick and David Kupempha.
Bandawe had said: “It is with a lot of pain that I issue this statement to express my dismay at the decision by the MCP to go against the decision by the party faithful in Dedza East constituency to have me represent them in next year’s Parliamentary Elections.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :