Theatrical Nankumwa on the appointment of Chaponda: 22 deputies obtain a court injunction

A day after the Parliament of Malawi recognized the nomination of George Chaponda as leader of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party by inviting him to attend the meeting of the National Assembly Affairs Committee, 22 MPs from the DPP sought a court injunction and won their case on Tuesday, June 28. .

Jeffrey pointed to anomalies in the caucus, saying it was followed by a minority number of MPs – both DPP and independents – “who were deliberately selected to stand in the election”.

“Many deputies were not invited. In fact, even myself – as general secretary of the party – was not and did not participate, Jeffrey said, adding that “no real election was held, instead, an independent legislator simply proposed the Hon. Chaponda’s name and a few others confirmed and the meeting then adopted the Hon. Chaponda as having been ‘elected’”.

The 22 MPs, led by MPs Werani Chirenga and Mark Botomani, who won the injunction are those snubbed from the special caucus

The injunction is granted by High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda in Lilongwe – against Chaponda as 1st defendant and DPP as 2nd defendant

After hearing their legal adviser, Wapona Kita and the joint affidavit of Werani Chirenga and Mark Botomani, and other summary arguments, Judge Nyirenda said he “was satisfied that a good cause had been established for the granting of an interlocutory injunction order subject to an inter partes hearing on July 7, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.

Chaponda was thus “barred from acting or standing as Leader of the Opposition in or outside the Parliament of Malawi” and that the DPP is also barred from recognizing Chaponda as Leader of the Opposition and again further prevented from implementing his decision to elect Chaponda to the position.

“The status quo that existed prior to said election is maintained,” the Order said. “Any disobedience to this order amounts to contempt of court for which committal proceedings may follow. »

On Monday, Clerk of Parliament Fiona Kalemba wrote to Chaponda congratulating the MP for Mulanje South West and then invited him to the business committee meeting to be held in the Speaker’s meeting room of Parliament on Wednesday 29 June.

Kalemba said the main purpose of the meeting is to prepare for the 6th meeting of the 49th session of parliament scheduled for Monday, July 18 to August 12.

“You are therefore requested to attend this meeting in your capacity as Leader of the Opposition,” the June 27 letter read.

In her press release issued on Sunday, June 26, Jeffrey – emphasizing that she was doing so in her capacity as general secretary – said that she and others had not acknowledged Chaponda’s appointment, saying that Nankhumwa “had was duly elected by more than two-thirds of all DPPs and independent parliamentarians affiliated with the DPP in an election sanctioned by the Office of the Speaker of the National Assembly unlike today’s meeting which deliberately sidelined other deputies.

Jeffrey said following “the alleged election of Chaponda”, the administrative secretary of the party, Francis Mphepo published a letter but according to Jeffrey, “this communication is an illegality and against the constitution of the DPP because it is the general secretary who is mandated to issue letters of this nature”.

“Mr. Francis Mphepo is a secretary in my office and works under my instructions. In this case, however, Innever has delegated or instructed him to do so.

“Given the anomalies, I call on all DPP members and all Malawians to disregard the communication from Mr. Francis Mphepo and consider said election null and void,” Jeffrey said.

In his press release, Francis Mphepo said the appointment was made “under the powers conferred on the Party under Articles 35 and 36 of the Standing Orders of the National Assembly” and that Chaponda’s appointment was also “under and by virtue of the powers conferred on its permanent staff. Decree 35(1) of the National Assembly”.

The deputies present were Chaponda himself; Shadric Namalomba; Joseph Mwanamveka; Chimwemwe Chipungu; Bright Msaka; Vuwa Kaunda; Kilekwa; Gladys Ganda; Mzomera; Thoko Tembo; Ndebele; Mpanga; Mathanda; Fyness Magonnjwa; Chijere; Matola; Maloua; Masamba; Mavuto Bokosi; Malume Bokosi; Victor Musowa; Ben Phiri; Brown Mpinganjira; O.Shaba; nominal; Chida; Charles Mchacha; Chambo; Mwina; Kachingwe; Ndalama; Chimalira and Makande.

Absent were Nankhumwa himself; his wife Gertrude Nankhumwa; Jappie Mhango; Marc Botoman; Chimunthu Banda; Ralph Jooma; Noel Lipipa; Nicholas Dausi; Dr. Ngwale; Dr Susuwele; Jusuf Nthenda; Sameer Suleiman; majaza; Navicha; Kwelepeta; Gadam; Kanyama; Namachekecha; Scott; Tambala; Mwambande; Awali; To agree; Mambala; Kutsaira; chilinga; Mwase; Chomanika; Million; Phoso; Santigo Phiri; Nkhata; Kingston; Naeja; Chitsulo; Masebo; bongwe; Naliwa and White.

Nankhumwa had also threatened to take Peter Mutharika to court if he went ahead with Sunday’s meeting through a letter from lawyers for Nankhumwa, Chidothe, Chidothe, who advised APM on Saturday not to go ahead.

Lawyers reminded APM that it was in defiance of Civil Case No. 898 of 2020, filed by party renegades — Nankhumwa; Grezelder Jeffrey; Jappie Mhango and Yusuf Nthenda.

Just last Thursday, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) issued a statement censuring the administration of President Lazarus Chakwera and the civil society organization lamented that the standoff between internal leaders at the top echelons of the DPP is collapsing in its role as the main opposition to the government.

A statement released by National President Gift Trapence and his executive committee said the DPP was torn by infighting – rendering it too ineffective to provide the necessary checks and balances as well as offer alternative policy options to managing the national issues by the Tonse administration. .

Several attempts have been made by the APM to reconcile the leadership differences that plague the party, which has its vice-president for the southern region, Nankhumwa, at the center of it all.

While some DPP members are touting Mutharika for running for DPP president and running for state president, saying he was eligible for serving only one term, Nankhumwa is on the ground to try and overthrow him at the next DPP convention.

There are also other party presidential hopefuls who include gurus like former Cabinet Minister Joseph Mwanamveka; former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi, Dalitso Kabambe; Bright Msaka; Paul Gadama and David Mbewe.

At a political rally organized by the PDP’s central region executive committee in April – dubbed “Blue Saturday @ Mgona” – the party’s vice-president for the center, Zelia Chikale, stressed that the APM had the right constitutional to run again for the head of state.

While assuring that it was up to APM to decide if he wanted to run again, Chakale asked the huge gathering of DPP members if they wanted the former president to rule again – to which she said. received a resounding confirmation vote.

She went on to say that anyone wishing to run in the 2025 presidential race should leave the DPP and form their own party or run for party chairman at the DPP convention – at which APM will express its intention to retain direction.

DPP Regional Governor for the South, Charles Mchacha – who is an MP for Thyolo West and has in recent weeks made the same calls that the PAM will run again as party chairman as well as the contest for the country’s presidency in the 2025 race – also reiterated his vote of confidence from the Southern Region and the rest of the country’s DPP members.

He had agreed with Chakale that those who wanted to run for the presidency of the country in the 2025 race should leave the DPP and form their own party or run against the APM for the presidency of the Party at the DPP convention.

The rally in Chisale was preceded by one held by the beleaguered DPP Vice President, Nankhumwa, which was also held at the same venue in Mgona.

Nankhumwa’s leadership feud with PAM has spanned since 2020 and began when his party’s president tried to strip him of his position as leader of the opposition – a move he challenged in parliament and was later fired from the party along with other renegades – Treasurer General, Jappie Mhango; General Secretary Gelzeder Jeffrey and MP for Mulanje West Yusuf Nthenda.

The four challenged the dismissal in court and were later reinstated, but the feud persists – so HRDC laments this internal political party stalemate which is believed to be slowly shaking the foundations of the main opposition party.

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