High Court in Lilongwe has dismissed the case in which opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) faction, led by former Dedza Valley chairperson Lackson Khamalatha and baked by Chatinkha Chidzanja and Dennis Nanthumba were calling for an emergency convention of the party in protest of party president Lazarus Chakwera’s style of leadership.
In May 2016, some MCP officials—including district chairpersons and committee members—dragged the party to court, demanding an emergency convention asserting serious irregularities over how Chakwera runs the party and appointed some national executive committee (NEC) members.
Justice Charles Mkandawire on Monday found the arguments by the MCP faction as lacking merit.
“Petitioning of emergency convention is not a simple matter,” noted Justice Mkandawire in his determination.
He noted that there was no evidence that District Committees met and made a resolution to petition for emergency convention.
“The applicants were asked by the defendant counsel (Wapona Kita) to produce the minutes if the meeting, but their excuse were common that due to financial problems they had no money to buy papers [yet] they had money to engage a lawyer to represent them in this court,” noted Judge Mkandawire.
“The applicants managed also to attend court proceedings travelling from all corners of the country and still want this court to believe that they had no money to buy a copy to write minutes in their district committee,” the Judge added.
“The applicants flouted the same MCP constitution they say the party flouted by failing to produce minutes if the said district committee meetings. He who comes to seek justice must come with clean hands,” Mkandawire said.
He said there was no credible evidence before the court to make an order of emergency evidence.
Mkandawire also pointed out that the disgruntled MCP officers had put MCP director of Elections Maxwell Thyolera and Secretary General Gustav Kaliwo as respondents in the case but the evidence before the court shows Chakwera as party president made the executive committee reshuffle yet they didn’t include him to the case.
In his ruling, Mkandawire urged political parties to practise intra party democracy and avoid bringing in the courts as its legal advisors or think-tank.
“Let courts spend its time interpreting Republic Constitution and not party constitutions. Let members mainly these in positions, mainly those at district level know their party constitution,” he said.
Mkandawire dismissed the case with costs.
In an interview after the ruling; MCP lawyer Kita a expressed happiness over the ruling while Wesley Namasala said he will brief his clients and be advised the way forward.
Chidzanja and the disgruntled MCP officials said they were dissapointed.
The High Court in Lilongwe has twice dismissed applications district chairpersons, first when they sought an injunction to stop elections in the districts which the party started holding on August 29, 2016.
But upon being reinstated, the same High Court rejected an application to add new applicants to the case as they no longer had sufficient interest in the matter because the party had new office-bearers in the districts.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :