The High Court in Mzuzu registry, Dingiswayo Madisehas ruled that Fiona Kalemba can be sworn in as Clerk of Parliament (CoP) dismissing four members of parliament who sought a court injunction to block her from taking oath of office, challenging President Peter wa Mutharika’s decision to appoint her.
The Four MPs, Harry Mkandawire (Mzimba West, People’s Party- PP), Kamlepo Kalua (Rumphi East PP), Peter Chakwantha (Lilongwe South West, Malawi Congress Party- MCP) and Enoch Chihana (Rumphi Central, Alliance for Democracy- Aford) obtained an injunction on November 19 2015 after it was learnt that she emerged third during the interviews for CoP conducted by Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) in October 2015.
High Court judge Charles Mkandawire allegedly came first and was trailed by Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) executive secretary Grace Malera.
President Mutharika appointed Kalemba as clerk of parliament, saying she is professional and has vast experience in bill drafting, one of the prerequisite qualifications.
The Republican Constitution provides that the Parliamentary Service Commission, headed by Speaker of the National Assembly, should provide three names of possible candidates to the head of state upon which the president shall appoint one person.
In his determination on Tuesday, Justice Madise said there was material error of law in the appointment of Kalemba as CoP and therefore she can proceed to take oath of office and allegiance as per section 52 Republican Constitution.
In his ruling, judge Madise, stated that the Head of State had power to pick someone from a list of three or not to pick anyone at all as same applies with the appointment of court Judges .
“It is a process of creating checks and balances on the other branches of government by the Executive branch. This segregation of powers is necessary in an open and democratic society,” said Madise in his judgment.
“All branches of government must operate within their mandate and it is the duty of the judicature to ensure that this complied with at all times. Parliament is amenable to be checked by the Executive and the Judicature. In these premises I see no error of law in the appointment of Mrs. Fiona Kalemba,” he ruled.
Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale represented government on the matter assisted by Apoche Itimu and welcomed the ruling, saying “it reflects the true position of the matter.”
Meanwhile, presidential advisor on civil society groups and NGOs, Mabvuto Bamusi insists the Mutharika looked at professional merit and experience.
More so, he said, the President wants to promote women into decision making positions of the society.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :