High Court to decide on Leader of Opposition case Nov 9

The High Court in Blantyre has adjourned to November 9, 2012 when it will decide the fate of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on its quest to take over the position of Leader of Opposition in Parliament.

DPP sued the Speaker for failing to recognize its leader Peter Mutharika as leader of opposition.

The DPP is challenging the Speaker’s failure to act on its communication of June 25, 2012, advising him of its election of DPP Acting President Peter Mutharika as leader of the opposition and recognise him such in line with Standing Order 3 (3).

Kelekeni Kaphale, lawyer representing DPP,  has applied to the high court for constitutional review to determine if the party is rightful heir to the post of Leader of Opposition in Parliament currently held by MCP president, John Tembo.

Peter Mutharika: Joins the case

Judge Anaclete Chipeta adjourned the case to November 9 after Kaphale made fresh application adding Peter Mutharika to the case as interested party.

However, lawyer for the State, Steven Kayuni challenged that DPP as a political party has no capacity to sue or to be sued in its own name, t therefore need for the court to dismiss the case.

He argued that argues that the DPP is merely an association of persons associating to further their political agenda with corporate identity and therefore it has no capacity to sue.

Kaphale quashed Kayuni’s arguments; saying based on Section 14 of the Constitution, which allows a person or a grouping of people to sue, giving example the case of UDF, Kennedy Makwangwala and Dr. George Nga Mtafu that was once allowed by the court.

The learned lawyer said the submission of fresh application by adding Peter Mutharika as one of the applicants in the case was not matter of error but an indication of interest by his client to join the case.

Judge Chipeta is expected to decide on the course of action on whether the matter should go for constitutional review to determine if DPP, once a ruling party, and having majority of MPs in Parliament should take over the leadership of the august house.

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