Court endorses Chihana’s victory as Aford president

The High Court in Mzuzu has endorsed the electoral victory for embattled Alliance for Democracy (Aford) President Enoch Chihana which was ‘frozen’ following alleged disputes at the party’s Indaba in September 2013.

Aford held its national convention from 6-7th September, 2013 at Mary Mount Secondary School in Mzuzu but due to various disagreements and violence other stakeholders boycotted the event.

But the convention went ahead and elected Chihana as Party President and other senior national executive committee members.

Chihana(R)  is rightful leader of Aford, court rules
Chihana(R) is rightful leader of Aford, court rules

A few days after the convention former Publicity Secretary Dan Msowoya obtained an injunction on behalf of eight others stopping Chihana from assuming office citing irregularities in the electoral process.

Msowoya argued that that the elections were unprocedural, unfair, devoid of tenets of democracy and the basic principles of the party.

However, in his affidavits and those of his team they cited some provisions from the Aford constitution but failed to tender a certified copy of the same as evidence to the court.

Similarly, the Chihana camp cited some provisions from the Aford constitution which was amended in 2007, which they claimed is the legitimate copy but filed a copy which was devoid of a date stamp authenticating the amendments or any other evidence that legitimatised the changes.

The Court then dismissed both versions of the constitutions saying it cannot rely on them because it was not satisfied as to which was legitimate.

“There is evidence that elections were conducted in a free and fair climate and that the outcome reflects the will of the people,” newly appointed Judge Dr Redson Kapindu said in his one hour 15 minutes judgement.

Kapindu then vacated the injunction with costs saying the plaintiffs failed to substantiate a number of claims.

“For instance, the plaintiffs said there was no quorum but they failed to bring to this court a certified list of delegates to prove their claim. While the defendants filed with this court affidavits from officials drawn from all districts across the country,” he noted.

Chihana’s supporters, who jam packed the court, clapped hands after the reading of the judgement while those who stood vigil outside the Court premises danced and ululated.

Lawyer for the Chihana,  Victor Gondwe said justice has been done and that people should learn that political positions are obtained through elections and not through courts.

While Counsel for Msowoya,  Christon Ghambi of CHRAM Associates said he does not accept the outcome but will consult his clients to seek the way forward.

Chihana's supporters jubilant after court verdict
Chihana’s supporters jubilant after court verdict

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