Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera wants the High Court to discontinue a case where he and the party obtained an order blocking embattled secretary general Gustave Kaliwo from calling a convention last July.
In an interview after the two sides discussed the issue in chambers, lawyer representing Chakwera, Titus Mvalo, said they want the case discontinued because the matter would best be handled internally.
He said Chakwera and the party do not want to waste the court’s time.
Mvalo said he will make a formal application for the case within two days to fulfill the requirements of the law even though the defence insisted on cross-examination.
He said: “We came today to proceed with the case. We had a proposal to make which was to discontinue, not because our case is weak; but because we thought we cannot cling to matters that could have really been resolved within the party. We have been allowed to make that application within two days.”
Powell Khutabasa, lawyer representing Kaliwo, said following the proposal from Chakwera and MCP, there was nothing they could do.
He said: “The matter today was for hearing of summons commenced by MCP and Chakwera. We got an order from the court to cross-examine Chakwera, but counsel Mvalo made a proposal to discontinue the matter; hence, no need to cross-examine Chakwera today.
“Our concern was that they were supposed to make a formal application for leave to discontinue and then file a substantive application for leave for the whole matter. Otherwise, it is not our claim, our position is that we wanted the issue to reach its logical conclusion, but now that the party and Chakwera are opting out, we can’t do anything.”
MCP deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka, who was at the court, said in an interview his party saw no reason to proceed because the convention in question did not take place.
In June last year, Chakwera obtained a court order stopping Kaliwo from holding an emergency convention from July 7 to 9.
Kaliwo said he called the convention to find solutions to differences between factions in the party.
He said he based his decision on Article 40 of the MCP constitution which states that district committees or the National Executive Committee (NEC) are mandated to call for a convention. He claimed that half of district committees called for the same.