Thyolo North MP Anita Kalinde has gone to court to challenge the suspension meted by the National Assembly on Tuesday following her scuffle with Internal Security and National Defence Minister Aaron Sangala on November 24 2011.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday High Court Judge in Lilongwe, Justice Ivy Kamanga granted Kalinde leave for judicial review as well as a stay (injunction) of the decision of the National Assembly of suspending her from the House.
“What it means is that she is free to attend parliament,” her lawyer Wapona Kita said.
Government tabled a motion for the House to debate the scuffle a development which did not please the minority opposition benches with many MPs pointing out that Standing Orders 97, 102 and 103 gives the Speaker the authority to enforce discipline in the House and even suspend an MP and not the whole House to debate.
Mzimba South MP Paul Shaba asked the whole House not to take part in the debate as per Standing Order 88, saying they all have direct and indirect material interest.
Former vice president Dr Cassim Chilumpha, (MP Nkhotakota South) who is a lawyer SC said “The motion is presupposing that she is already guilty without being heard.”
While UDF chief whip Dr Clement Chiwaya told the House that when they watched the video of the fracas in the business committee “the minister had no torn shirt.”
DPP MP for Mzimba Luwerezi Dr. Bafomo Nyirenda pointed out that Kalinde was provoked by Sangala and suggested that the minister be suspended as well for equal justice –which never was.
But the Speaker, Henry Chimunthu Banda, put the matter a vote with 107 voting ‘yes’ to allow Government to bring a supplementary order paper to bring the matter into the House, while 45 voted ‘NO’ and one abstained. About 39 MPs were absent; they included many government youthful lawmakers.
The House moved and passed the motion which says: “That this house do resolve that honourable member of Thyolo north be suspended for 30 sitting days, effective today, inclusive of the next sitting of the National Assembly.”
The motion however does not state the reason for the suspension.
Kalinde said she was challenging the suspension in court.
“I will go to court to seek justice,” she briefly told a Nyasa Times correspondent.
Later, Nyasa Times spoke to lawyer Kita of Ralph and Arnold Associates who confirmed he is representing the lawmaker in the matter.
Kita filled for judicial review and stay of the decision at the High Court on Wednesday.
“I will not pre-empt our grounds but is basically to do with substantive and procedural fairness on the part of the National Assembly in the way it has handled itself in suspending her,” Kita told Nyasa Times.
The court granted Kalinde an injunction.
Kalinde ‘woman handled’ Sangala after the minister had made reference to a deceased Lilongwe businessperson, Marshall the Duke, as having been married to Kalinde. The minister alleged Marshal was involved in selling human private parts.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :