Malawi High Court reinstates Daza in MCP: Wapona wants retrial

The Lilongwe High Court has once again reinstated the full membership of embattled Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Secretary General, Dr Chris Daza, to the party.

But the legal battle between Daza and his party appears far from over as MCP lawyer Wapota Kita has questioned the manner in which the ruling was made hinting he would apply for retrial.

Lilongwe High Court Judge Chifundo Kachale made the ruling on Wednesday arguing the country’s oldest political party contravened its own constitution by suspending Daza as its member as well as secretary general.

Daza: MCP secretary general reinstated

Lawyer for Daza, Wesley Namasala, said his client was happy that the court had granted him the relief he sought.

“The decision to suspend Dr Daza from MCP has been set aside and his full membership has been fully restored.

“The court established that the procedure which was used to suspend Dr Daza was irregular as it was not a procedure of natural justice because he was not afforded his constitutional right to be heard as it were,” Namasala said.

He added: “We are quite happy with the outcome, it is something which we expected.”

But in his reaction to the ruling Kita wondered how Judge Kachali passed the verdict in the absence of the defendant which is the party.

“I am surprised that there is such type of ruling. In as far as I am concerned this matter has never been set for hearing. I don’t know how judgment could be passed when the other side has no information about the matter coming up for hearing.

“Both parties were supposed to be in court for hearing but we were not even aware that hearing of the matter was taking place on Wednesday,” wondered Kita.

He said although he had not yet seen the copy of the ruling, he was certain that the judgment was passed without hearing the side of the Malawi Congress Party.

“We shall apply to have the matter set down for proper hearing because we don’t believe in the way this judgment has been obtained, it is irregular,” he asserted.

Despite his reinstatement, the party already said it would not be comfortable working with him even if he is saved by the courts.

The embattled MCP secretary general was suspended on December 29 last year barely a few weeks after the same Lilongwe High Court ordered his reinstatement after he was expelled from the party.

Daza’s sin that warranted him the throwing out was his free expression for presidential ambitions and the presentation of a petition he mad to the party with signatures of office bearers calling for convention to elect new party leaders which the party described as fake.

He was also accused of creating parallel party structures within the opposition party.

Daza has insisted that the 78-year-old veteran MCP leader, John Tembo, is ineligible to stand again for the party’s presidency because its constitution does not allow him to contest for the third consecutive time.

But Tembo has hinted he would run in the 2014 elections if nominated as presidential candidate during their convention whose dates are yet to be announced.

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