A constitutional law expert Edge Kanyongolo, who is lecturer at University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, has said every decision by the Executive is subject to review bu the courts if the society decided to challenge it.
Kanyongolo was commenting after High Court in Mzuzu sustained an injunction against Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister George Chaponda until investigations into the maizegate are concluded.
Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale had argued that the court should vacate the order for leave for judicial review because the court does not have the power and authority to review Executive orders by the President.
He also prayed that the civil society organisations (CSOs) that obtained the injunction must be removed from the list of applicants.
But the court ruled that its the jurisidiction to handle the matter and that the CSOs must not be removed from the lists of applicants as they have “lucus standi” (sufficient interest) to seek for review of Executive decision.
In comments quoted in The Nation newspaper report on Wednesday, Kanyongolo agrees that every Executive decision is subject to court review, saying Malawi constitution has no “prerogative powers”.
“You remember in 2001 the court also reviewed a decision by the President to ban demonstrations and assemblies. That was reviewed, and it was declared unconstitutional.
“I think we use the word prerogative wrongly, because prerogative power is essentially unquestionable. We have no prerogative powers in the Constitution, but Executive powers of different kinds,” he explained.
Meanwhile, the three CSOs—Centre for the Development of People (Cedep), Church and Society of CCAP Livingstonia Synod as well as Youth and Society (YAS) havefiled contempt of court charges against suspended minister Chaponda at the High Court in Mzuzu.
The CSOs’ lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa confirmed to have filed for a leave to proceed with committal proceedings for Chaponda.
The minister two weeks ago sneaked to Germany on alleged official duties which contravened the dictates of his injunction, hence the CSOs decision to drag him to court for contempt. He sneaked into the country last Wednesday through Chileka International Airport.
Mwafulirwa said the Judge is yet to set a date for the contempt of court matter.
He could not divulge details in the application.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :