Jumbe goes to court to stop UDF convention: Judge refused to grant exparte injunction

Interim president of  Malawi opposition United Democratic Front (UDF), Friday Jumbe, has gone to court to stop the party’s forthcoming convention but a High Court judge could not grant an ex-parte injunction.

Ex parte injunctions are normally granted by courts to a party without notice to an adversary party to provide interim relief to the applicant in matters of urgency particularly where the court is convinced, on the basis of certain judicial principles, that such an injunction is necessary under specific circumstances.

Jumbe, represented by Ralph and Arnolds law firm, asked Justice Joseph Manyungwa for the injunction exparte but the Judge  refused and ordered that the other party (UDF)   be served and appear before the court by Wednesday.

UDF secretary general Kennedy Makwangwala said the party has instructed private practice lawyer Kalekeni Kaphale to represent it in the matter.

Jumbe: Seeks court to stop convention

The party intends to hold its convention on October 30 in Blantyre.

But Jumbe and Sam Mpasu, another prominent party member, have suggested that a UDF convention should not convene before two recently emerged factions have ironed out their differences. One faction is led by Jumbe himself and the other is assumed to prefer Austin (Atupele) Muluzi, minister of economic planning in the Joyce Banda administration and son of former UDF and Malawi leader, Bakili Muluzi.

Jumbe and Mpasu suggest that party unity is necessary before going to the floor of a convention to choose or endorse the party leadership and platform.

The two have threatened that they will fight tooth and nail to ensure the meeting does not take place.

There are reports that Jumbe led a group of 15 people in his faction to Sanjika Palace where they were introduced to PP executive that they are “part and parcel of the PP.”

Reports indicate they are remaining in UDF as “spoilers”.

UDF partisans have waited too long to have the leadership question and factionalism in their party resolved.

A Sunday Times newspaper poll published on Sunday October 21 ahowed 69 percent of their respondents want all interim office holders in the party to support the idea of holding the forthcoming  convention to resolve, once and for all, the differences and to eliminate  renegade groups.

University of Malawi’s political professor Mustafa Hussein said UDF needs the convention to “ overhaul the party in terms of leadership and personnel.”

He said: “I think it’s time that a convention was held and that supporters of the party would be given a chance to elect people to various positions.”

UDF ruled Malawi from 1994 to 2004 under Muluzi and from 2004 to early 2005 with Bingu wa Mutharika, who was handpicked by Muluzi and ditched the party to form the DPP.

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