The High Court in Blantyre Monday ordered the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) National Executive Committee (Nec) to shelve plans to summon Gustave Kaliwo, Tony Kandiero, Richard Msowoya and Jessie Kabwila to a disciplinary hearing.
The court further ordered MCP not to organise a convention, which was slated for April this year.
Initially, Kaliwo, Kandiero, Msowoya and Kabwila sought relief from the courts after the party politburo suspended them on various grounds. However, the four obtained a court injunction, restraining the party from going ahead with the decision.
Kaliwo and Msowoya were suspended as party secretary general and vice-president, respectively, while Kabwila, who once served as party publicity secretary, and Kandiero were fired from their positions of member and treasurer, in that order.
Last week, lawyer for the four, Kalekeni Kaphale, withdrew the application he made to the court, in which it challenged the decision made by the MCP Nec, on the technical ground that the lawyer’s licence had not been renewed at the time the application was filed with the court.
However, MCP’s sigh of relief was shortlived as, hours later, Kaphale made a fresh application after he had renewed the licence.
The order obtained yesterday restrains MCP president, Lazarus Chakwera, who is the first defendant, and Ezekiel Ching’oma, who is the second defendant, representing Nec members of MCP, from going ahead with plans to hold a convention until after a determination of the court.
“This order restrains you or any other persons from inviting the claimants [Kaliwo, who is the first claimant; Kandiero, as the second claimant; Msowoya, third claimant; and Kabwila, who is the fourth claimant] to disciplinary inquiries and from suspending them and also from convening a convention of the party until trial of the action or until further order of the court,” the order reads in part.
Kaphale made the application Monday.
“Until the hearing of the inter-partes application for an injunction or until a further order, the defendants may either by themselves, their agents, servants or otherwise howsoever, be and are hereby restrained from inviting the claimants to a disciplinary inquiry or suspending them from their membership of the Malawi Congress Party or from performing the duties of the positions they hold in that party or from calling for a convention of the party,” the order adds.
MCP deputy publicity secretary, Reverend Maurice Munthali, is quoted in Politics and Governance, a supplement in this edition of The Daily Times, as saying, after a meeting of the Convention Steering Committee last week, it had been agreed that the indaba should be held from April 4 to 7.