In the Judicial Review Cause Number 049 of 2020 between the State (on the application of Basitole Dalison Makwalu) and President of the Republic of Malawi and Noah Dalasi Chasafali Ngabu, the High Court in Blantyre on Monday, September 20, 2021 quashed the decision by President Lazarus Chakwera to ‘reinstate’ Noah Dalasi Chasafali Ngabu as Senior Chief Ngabu of Chikwawa one year after he was removed by former President Peter Mutharika for “alleged misconduct towards his subjects”.
According to the letter reinstating him, dated September 14, 2020, from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Noah Dalasi Chasafali Ngabu was reinstated effective September 9, 2020.
“Your reinstatement is based on the findings of the second commission of inquiry that His Excellency the President (Chakwera) set up in August 2020 to investigate into the allegations your subjects levelled against you.
“The Commission of Inquiry recommended that you should be reinstated to your original status of Senior Chief and Traditional Authority of Chikwawa District,” the letter read in part.
But upon hearing Counsel for the Applicant on an ex-parte Application for Judgement without a hearing based on High Court Rules, Justice Mandala Mambulasa ruled on Monday, September 20, that upon reading the Sworn Statement of Michael Goba Chipeta, Counsel for the Applicant, filed in support of the said application, he entered judgement that:
“The 1st Defendant’s (President Chakwera) decision to appoint Noah Dalasi Chasafali Ngabu, the 2nd Defendant, as Senior Chief Ngabu is hereby declared unconstitutional, unlawful, procedurally unfair and invalid; the 1st Defendant’s said decision to appoint Noah Dalasi Chasafali Ngabu, the 2nd Defendant, as Senior Chief Ngabu is hereby quashed; and the Defendants are hereby ordered to pay costs for the court proceedings”.
In a letter that ordered his removal on December 12, 2020, former Mutharika said the Chiefs Act gave him powers to fire chiefs who abuse their positions.
“I, Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi, pursuant to powers vested in me by chapter 22:03, part 1, section 11(b) and 9(c) of the chiefs Act, do hereby remove you Noah Dalasi Chasafali Ngabu from exercising the functions of Senior Chief Ngabu of Chikwawa District. That decision, he had said, was with immediate effect due to recommendations arising from the commission of inquiry conducted in August, 2019 into his alleged misconduct towards his subjects under your jurisdiction.
According to Emma Jaffu, a resident of Ngabu, this is a long drawn-out issue that is mired in political controversy. According to Jaffu, under the DPP government of former President Mutharika, Noah Dalasi Chasafali Ngabu was considered a political turncoat who joined the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) of President Chakwera under the influence of the late Sidik Mia, MCP’s Vice President then, and his wife and current Deputy Minister of Lands, Abida Mia. Indeed, when President Chakwera rose to power Noah Dalasi Chasafali Ngabu was reinstated and also appointed Board Member of a government parastatal.
It remains to be seen whether or not the deposed Senior Chief Ngabu will appeal against the court’s judgement.
He did not respond to Nyasa Times questionnaire sent to him immediately after the judgement.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :