Main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera and embattled secretary general Gustav Kaliwo are set to face off and trade questions in court in a case the party obtained an injunction restraining Kaliwo from calling for a convention.
In June last year, Chakwera obtained a court injunction stopping Kaliwo holding an emergency convention for the party from July 7 to 9 with parallel structures.
Lawyer for the defendants Powell Nkhutabasa of Lion Rock Attorneys confirmed in an interview with Nyasa Times that the hearing resumes on the March 26 2018.
Nkhutabasa said: “We have requested Chakwera to be available for cross examination in the case, their lawyer can also do the same.”
Kaliwo, a lawyer by profession, is on record to have said the convention was called to clear their differences relying on Article 40 of the MCP constitution which states that district committees or the National Executive Committee (NEC) are mandated to call for a convention which according to Kaliwo half of the district committees called for it.
In an earlier affidavit to the court, Chakwera said that the district chairpersons Kaliwo was using to call for convention including Lackson Khamalatha who is the first defendant, relinquished his position like others and no longer had powers to call for an emergency convention in the name of MCP, saying doing such Kaliwo was wrong and illegal.
According to a summon from the court, Chakwera and others are expected to be present during the hearing, meaning that he will come face to face with his suspended Secretary General.
“At the hearing all different parties that is Lackson Khamalatha, Gustav Kaliwo, Khumbize Kandodo, Dorothy Chirambo and Chakwera must be present in the court and subjected to cross examination on the facts alleged in their sworn affidavits.,” leads the summon in part.
Meanwhile, Kaliwo and four senior members of the party, including first vice-president Richard Msowoya, have obtained an injunction against their suspension from the party and its holding of a convention.
The High Court in Blantyre granted the injunction on March 12 2018 through lawyer Kalekeni Kaphale, who represented Kaliwo and others who included Msowoya, Deputy Secretary General James Kaunda, replaced Treasurer General Tony Kandiero and under-fire Publicity Secretary Jesse Kabwila.
The High Court has ordered that interparty summons should be issued within 14 days, but the defendants may apply to vacate the injunction after notifying the claimants’ lawyers in writing within 48 hours.
In January this year, the MCP NEC meeting in Lilongwe announced that an elective convention will be held from April 4 to 8 in Mzuzu to usher in new leadership and devise new policies for the party.
The NEC also slapped the five with suspensions for alleged indiscipline
And on Sunday in Blantyre, Chakwera told delegates to the convention from the Southern Region that all was set for the indaba and that so far the party has raised K70 million of the required K96 million.
Kaliwo and others have accused Dr. Chakwera of dictatorial tendencies, charges that have not gone down well with the party President and some NEC members.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :