Call it things falling apart in the erstwhile governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The Nyasa Times has just confirmed that the DPP member of Parliament (MP) for Thyolo South West, Chimwemwe Chipungu, has filed a lawsuit against his brother-in-party politics and fellow legislator for Blantyre City South, Noel Lipipa.
Lipipa has been dragged to court over allegations of defamation and character assassination against Chipungu.
Lipipa – is alleged to have accused Chipungu – the immediate former Deputy Minister of Agriculture – of misappropriating funds meant to pay DPP monitors in the just-ended fresh presidential election held on June 23 2020.
The accusation was made on a WhatsApp group of the DPP MPs.
“The summons has been issued against you [Lipipa] by the above-named claimant in respect of the claim set out on the back. We command you within 28 days after the service of this summons on you, inclusive of the day of service, you must either satisfy the claim or file with this Court a defence and list of documents. If you do not intend to contest proceedings, you must within 14 days after service of this summons on you, inclusive of the day of service, return the accompanying response stating therein that you do not intend to contest the proceedings, but desire a stay of enforcement of judgment, if any,” reads the court summons in part seen by Nyasa Times.
The summons, which is dated July 3 2020, further notifies Lipipa that if he fails to satisfy the claim or to file a defence and list of documents or to return the response within the time stated, or if he returns the response without stating an intention to contest the proceedings, the claimant (Chipungu) may proceed with the claim and judgment may be entered against Lipipa without further notice.
Chipungu also serves as DPP’s Organising Secretary and was in charge of distributing funds in the Central and Southern Regions for the monitors.
But Lipipa says he is not cowed with the lawsuit.