The High Court has ordered a stop to the convention which opposition Alliance for Democracy (Aford) had planned to hold in Lilongwe yesterday after one camp protested that it would be an illegal gathering.
The never-ending bickering between the camps of the incumbent Aford president Enoch Chihana and aspirant Frank Mwenifumbo reached the climax on Saturday when one camp sought the court’s intervention to stop the convention.
The Chihana camp argues that an emergency meeting of the national executive committee held last Thursday decided that the convention be held tomorrow, May 1 2018.
However, speaking for the Mwenifumbo camp, Dan Msowoya said in an interview that the reasons for postponing the convention as per the affidavit submitted to the court, that the April 27 2018 nationwide demonstrations would have prevented some delegates from travelling, did not hold water.
High Court judge Charles Mkandawire granted the injunction on Saturday, warning that any contrary announcement of convention dates and venues would be treated as a serious contempt of court.
Reads the order: “…It is ordered as follows: That the first claimant Christopher Ritchie and others be and is hereby restrained from proceeding with holding Aford convention on either 28th or 29th April 2018. That the Aford convention should be held on Tuesday, the 1st May, 2018 as decided by the emergency meeting of 26th April, 2018.”
The venue for the convention has been changed from Golden Peacock Hotel to Don Bosco Youth Technical Centre in Lilongwe.
However, Msowoya insisted that April 29 was a date that was agreed on by both parties and endorsed by the court; hence, the arrival of delegates in Lilongwe.
By 1pm yesterday, the Mwenifumbo camp had not vacated the injunction to enable them to proceed as earlier planned.