Court dismisses MCP chairpersons

The High Court in Lilongwe has dismissed a case in which opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) district chairpersons wanted to stop elections of new members which the party started conducting immediately after the court threw out their case.

District chairpersons from MCP’s Lakeshore and Central political districts were seeking an injunction to stop the elections which the party started holding on August 29 2016.

Flashback: Some of the Southern Region MCP leaders who are against Chakwera’s leadership style
Flashback: Some of the Southern Region MCP leaders who are against Chakwera’s leadership style

In May this year, some MCP officials dragged the party to court demanding an emergency convention asserting serious irregularities on how the party’s leadership filled gaps in the national executive committee (NEC).

However, lawyer representing MCP, Wapona Kita, argued that Dedza valley district chairperson Lackson Khamalatha did not have sufficient interest in the matter because he, and other district chairpersons, were no longer holding their positions, among others.

In his ruling, High Court Judge Charles Mkandawire dismissed an argument by the district chairpersons’ lawyer, Wesley Namasala, that there would be a floodgate of litigation if the court determined that the appointment of new NEC members in 2015 was a breach of the MCP constitution.

Said the judge: “I do not think that it is prudent for the court to issue an injunction just because the plaintiffs [district chairpersons and other members] are anticipating that there will be a lot of litigation. I do not find this to be the basis upon which I would grant an injunction. I, therefore, dismiss this application with cost.”

MCP member Chatinkha Chidzanja Nkhoma has backed the district chairpersons claim for a fresh convention to legitimise the executive committee positions which came into effect in 2015.

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