Malawi High Court in Mzuzu has rejected an application by State to consolidate cases of crossing the floor involving Members of Parliament (MPs) Patrick Ackim Mwanza and Henry Shaba.
High Court Judge Dingiswayo Madise, in his ruling delivered on Wednesday, observed that the cases are substantially different; hence, consolidating the two would make the decision-making process difficult and tedious for the proper administration of justice.
Mwanza, MP for Mzimba Solola Constituency, sought leave exparte to move for judicial review against the decision of Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda to call for fresh evidence from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), in a petition in which the MP was alleged to have crossed the floor from DPP to the People’s Party (PP).
As for Shaba’s case, the question is whether the Speaker should be allowed to declare Shaba’s seat vacant for crossing the floor when he alleges that he was dismissed from the UDF through a letter.
On March 15 2013, the Attorney General, through chief State advocate Dr. Zolophi Nkhowani, filed applications to discharge leave for judicial review and also vacate the stay and order of injunction on the grounds that leave and all consequential orders were obtained through suppression and misrepresentation of material facts.
In his ruling, Madise declined to grant the State’s prayer to discharge leave for judicial review and vacate the order of stay and injunction.
He directed that Mwanza’s case be heard on August 27 2013 and that of Shaba shall be heard on 24 September at the High Court in Mzuzu.