Justice Dunstan Mwaungulu of the Supreme Court of Appeal say he requires more time to study further the arguments raised by the State’s appeal Justice John Chirwa’s ruling on the maizegate case in which he ruled that leave for judicial review of President Peter Mutharika’s decision not to suspend George Chaponda amid a probe into the Zambia maize import transaction must proceed and reserved judgement to Friday.
Justice Chirwa, sitting at the High Court in Mzuzu, also sustained an injunction on Agriculture and Water Development Minister Chaponda, but also ruled that Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that obtained the injunction must not be removed from the list of applicants.
Mwaungulu said on Wednesday that he would give his decision in the matter on Friday, saying he found the documented presented before him riddled with manifest and banal mistakes and that the High Court might have overlooked some of the inconsistencies.
He noted one of the errors as CSOs indicating that President Mutharika should resign instead of Chaponda.
“You asked the President to resign and not the minister according to the documents before this court,” noted Justice Mwaungulu.
“What was sought and what was granted are different,” he stated.
Lawyer for the CSOs, Wesley Mwafulirwa of John Tennyson and Associates said indeed there were mistakes but asked the court to disregard them, saying appropriate amendments should be made.
He noted that the law allowed such corrections.
Mwafulirwa who is representing that CSOs-Centre for the Development of People (Cedep), Church and Society of Livingstonia Synod of CCAP as well a Youth and Society (YAS), said Supreme Court “needs to make safeguards” on governance.
“This is not a personal issue [against Chaponda] but constitutional in nature. Justice should not just be done but be seen to be done. This case is a test to our democracy,” lawyer Mwafulirwa from Mzuzu told the Supreme Court.
Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale argues that Justice Chirwa, among others, erred in failing to find that Presidential powers of appointment, suspension or dismissal can only be reviewed on very narrow and limited grounds.
Kaphale further faults the ruling for failing to identify constitutional provisions that would be subject to judicial review in light of the facts so far disclosed, at the main judicial review hearing.
The AG also argues that the court erred in finding that the CSOs have locus standi [sufficient interest] to remain as parties to the judicial review proceedings and failing to contextualise the proceedings in relation to the Commissions of Inquiry on the maize issue.
Kaphale said they want the Supreme Court of Appeal provide an Order setting aside the grant of leave for judicial review and dismissing the proceedings with costs to the Appellants.
He also said they want the Supreme Court to reverse the ruling
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :