The High Court in Mzuzu has dismissed a claim by immediate past State president Joyce Banda to reclaim a a People’s Party (PP) vehicle from Mzimba Hora legislator Christopher Mzomera Ngwira of Demcoratic Progressive Party (DPP), which was assigned to him in 2013 as regional governor of PP.
Banda, widely known as JB, who is also PP president, asked the court for an order that Ngwira returns the vehicle; that he pays damages for conversion of ownership of the said motor vehicle and for loss of use.
Through Jivason and Company legal firm, Banda said she gave Ngwira a KIA motor vehicle registration ZA 1457 in 2013 to ease his mobility while serving PP as regional governor for the North but since joining the DPP in July last year, Ngwira has been using the vehicle on DPP duties, including transporting party members, contrary to the wishes of JB.
JB argued that she has always retained title and ownership of the vehicle and never relinquished her property right.
However, in his determination, Judge Thomson Ligowe, has dismissed Banda application after she also failed to turn up for mediation which was ordered to resolve the matter.
“For two times the claimant (JB) has failed to attend the mediation session without a good cause. Last time, I ordered penalties to be paid but it didnt work. I have no option today but to dismiss her claim. It is so ordered,” Ligowe said in his determination.
Judge Ligowe in his ruling also said Banda should not bring the case befoe him again but can restore the matter before another judge.
Ngwira has maintained that he cannot surrender the vehicle as Banda gave him the vehicle as a gift.
In 2009, Ngwira won on a DPP ticket, but dumped the party and joined PP in 2012 after the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika. When PP lost the elections in 2014, Ngwira became vocal, urging the party to replace Banda with former State vice-president Khumbo Kachali.
However, the party fired Ngwira from his position as provincial chairperson for the North and expelled him from the party. He rejoined DPP in July 2017.