Mutharika holds on to Chaponda as Malawi govt disagree with court order: Dausi says ‘complete usurpation of executive powers by Court’

Minister of Information, who is also government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi has said President Peter Mutharika is still keeping Minister of Agricultute, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda on his post despite a court order suspending him pending investigation on the Zambia maize import deal.

President Peter Mutharika with agriculture minister George Chaponda : Together forever

Dausi said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times amplifying what Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale said that the High Court made “a fundamental error” to suspend a Cabinet minister.

The Minister of Information and Communications Technology pointed out that government disagree with the court’s decision to suspend Chaponda, making some legal arguments.

On Thursday, High Cout in Mzuzu granted an injunction to some civil society organiations restraining Chaponda, MP from discharging his duties as a Cabinet Minister until investigations into maize saga is completed.

“The power to appoint  and suspend a Cabinet Minister, under the Constitution, vests in the President as stipulated in sections 92 to 96 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi. No person, apart from His Excellency, the State President, exercising his constitutional powers, has the power to remove or suspend a Cabinet Minister,” Dausi said.

“It is therefore a complete usurpation of executive powers by the Court to grant an order like the one made by the High Court in Mzuzu,” added the government spokesman.

Dausi further argued: “Not only does this order constitute a fundamental error in law, but it also threatens the constitutional order on separation of powers.”

He said government notes that the order has been granted pending an application for judicial review – the process of reviewing a decision made by a decision-maker.

“The circumstances surrounding the order make it clear that there is no decision that has been made which would impel a court to make an order that effectively suspends a Cabinet Minister,” he said.

Dausi pointed out that government is further concerned that in the recent past there has been a “proliferation of ex parte orders “coming from the courts and including the suspension of Chaponda.

“ While Government recognizes the fact that every citizen has a right of recourse to courts for genuine grievances, the Judiciary is urged to execute its mandate in an impartial manner and resist the temptation of making populist decisions which cannot be supported by relevant facts and the prescriptions of law,” he said.

Observsers say government spokesman is undermining the court without necessariliy saying it.

They note that government is right that there is a separation of powers. However, seperation of powers should not occur when it is “convenient” for the government, a  critic said.

Adding: “The laws of this country are open to abuse because of the deliberate and systematic negligence or inaction to review them. The statement from the government makes legal sense, but going forward there has to be serious discussion on law reform in this country.

“If the executive are serious about separation of powers then they have to stop interfering with the judiciary; instead they must advocate for reform and prticulary judicial independence.”

Edge Kanyongolo, a constitutional law expert and associate professor of law at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of decribed the injunction as  “extremely unusual” .

Attorney General Kaphale has since said the Executive will apply to court to vacate the  injunction  once served with the order.

Lawyer for civil society organisations who obtained the injunction, Wesley Mwafulirwa said he was set to serve the minister and the Executive the injunction.

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Dodolido
Guest
Nyasa Times can you find out about the Bingu Stadium. Lilongwe City Council is being pressured to issue a Certificate of Completion so that the stadium is used on 28th January. But professionals at LCC are putting their foot down. The stadium is not complete as it has not being connected to the sewerline constructed by a private company. The company needs to be paid the cost of construction which is close to K1 billion. The people that want the stadium opened actually want to have the DPP Government embarrassed again scandal after scandal. The president doesn’t know the stadium… Read more »
Dodolido
Guest

Electricity and water too are not enough.

Chambe
Guest

Court orders are not a cast on the stone that they can not be challenged. Thus why AG has applied for the vacation of the injunction based on the argument of who has powers to appoint, suspend and fire a Cabinet Minister. Until then, we will see what follows after the challenge.

Jivinali Mkutu
Guest

Arab spring ndiye yankho labwino pa nkhani za DPP.
We need to protest till DPP must fall !Period!
Pitala must fall!!!!!

Papa Chalo
Guest
God is fighting for us but my fellow Malawians let us team up and work together for the good of our economy. In Malawi we have a network of evil issues hence so many problems crop up in a related way. Remember God is the Best Judge. Thanks heaven for the Mzuzu courts. They try hard in respect for justice. Pomwe other courts, lawyers, police, ACB etc are becoming more and more corrupt. Ministers stole tax payers’ money and big man is protecting the thieves. In response to this, God gave us floods last year just to expose maize scam… Read more »
Nyozani
Guest

Kapumeni adokotala.aa inu kukakamiraku bwanji? Zokutha izi , aliyese amalakwisa .Nanu bwana kusanjikako munapanga course yomweyi yamalamuro tamapelekani chitsanzo chabwino mwatani kodi?

santana
Guest
I am surprised that up to now with all that court expediency the injunction is not served to the Executive. Read this post carefully and look attentively on the comment by this renowned lawyer, Edge Kanyongolo. Enanu mukungobwebweta zinthuzi. Umbuli ndi umene ukukuvutani. The opposition is just too emotional because they have tried a million times to find ways of weakening the DPP but to no avail. My advise to the opposition is that if they want to get into govt in 2019 they should find a strategy to penetrate the south and have many converts to vote for it… Read more »
igama lami
Guest

Bwana Santana, idzafika kuti anthu a ku South nawonso adzakutopelani a DPP. Kodi mmayesa ku south ndiye kuli umphawi woopsa mdziko lonse lino (NSO Statistics)? ndiye nawonso zidzawakwana. Mukuganiza adzingovotelabe DPP akugona ndi njala…njala mchilombo. Lachifote lidzafika, mwana adzakana phala…kubela mavoti kudzakanika. Ukamufunse makina Yayah Jahme wa ku Gambia. Ife aku central kuno chathu ndichiyembekezo

Nkhalamo
Guest

Birds of the same furthers flock together

Ngonapamuhanya
Guest

It is so pathetic that poor Malawians are failing to purchase the maize since it’s at higher side. Locals are opting to buy the grain from venders I don’t know how this Chaponda has messed around.

Gogodasi
Guest

The last thing is for Parliament when it meets in February to consider impeaching the President for his arrogance, shielding suspects of scandals from his camp and failing to live up to the constitutional demands. The maize scandal will not end soon, mark my words – people across the country are extremely bitter with the President’s conduct. If Parliamentarians are true servants of the people they should take this route.

Papa Chalo
Guest

I salute your comment. Amalawi adzitero. These people will not make it to the end of term.

In Govt we have highly learned people but they are fools. Imagine Peter waking up one morning. Recruited Patricia Kaliati and others for a new Ministry. Then later ku Lilongweko, DHRM&D nkumayamba coming up with establishment structures (posts/vacancies).

Kkkkkkkkk. kulemba anthu ntchito then later creating job? Kupwambwana kwa akuluakulu ku capital hill. Kumangoombera mmanja zautsiru. Ma MPs, gwirani ntchito yanu mopanda mantha. kupanda kutero God will DO something to You so that you learn bitterly. Amen !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pido
Guest

“…. and failing to live up to the constitutional demands …” Use of flowery language. But do you understand the meaning of constitutional demands? What does your constitution say about who should hire or fire a cabinet member?

I am tired of this politics of vendetta. The opposition, especially Lazarous Chakwera is so power hungry that he can stop at nothing to frustrate the powers that be. However, it has always ended up with himself being frustrated.

Impeachment? Hahahaha ask Lucious Banda. Where on earth has any sort like this demanded impeachment. Think globally man

MPhande Yituwa
Guest

Mbava ndi Mbava kapanji tinene kuti Ndi Mbuzi ya kuba ndiposo watitopeza munthu ameneyo kulikose ngakhale maganizo wake ngaumbalangondo

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