Malawi’s opposition and former ruling Democratic Progressive Party ((DPP) president Prof Peter Mutharika risks being thrown into jail for contempt of court together with his party’s spokesman, Nicolas Dausi.
They are accused of failing to adhere to a court order instructing them to reinstate Frank Katundulu, the party’s fired Central Region Governor.
Katundulu was fired from DPP on March 20 this year through a meeting that was convened by Mutharika and chaired by Dausi in Lilongwe.
After his dismissal, the party politburo gave the position to Eclen Kudontoni, who until Katundulu’s firing was DPP Campaign Director for the Central Region.
Few weeks later, Katundulu challenged the party’s decision and obtained a court injunction from the Lilongwe High Court, which was issued by Judge Ivy Kamanga, restraining the party and its leadership from firing him from his position.
The court further ordered them to immediately give back Katundulu his official car, registration number BP 8669 (which he was using as DPP Regional Governor) and also restore all his benefits but the Mutharika and Dausi ignored the court order.
But Dausi told a local daily after the injunction, the party never fired Katundulu but did not confirm him on the position as he (Katundulu) was only working as Acting Regional Governor for the party.
And in reaction, Katundulu, through his lawyer, has gone back to court for the two to answer contempt of court charges, whose case is expected to appear in court soon .
Until April 17 2013, all positions in DPP, which was formed by former President late Bingu wa Mutharika, were on interim basis including that the party leader.
Besides this impending case, Mutharika and Dausi are also answering to treason charges alongside several other DPP senior members as well as former minister Goodall Gondwe and senior government officials.