Hearing of the case where four members of Parliament (MPs) are challenging the appointment of Fiona Kalemba as Clerk of Parliament (CoP) failed to start at the High Court in Mzuzu on Tuesday.
Instead, the matter will be heard on December 22, according to Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale and lawyer representing the four legislators, Victor Gondwe.
Gondwe said the case had been adjourned to give both parties ample time to make submissions.
He said December 15 was deemed too close for the parties to make submissions.
The four MPs—Harry Mkandawire (Mzimba West, People’s Party-PP), Kamlepo Kalua (Rumphi East PP), Peter Chakwantha (Lilongwe South West, Malawi Congress Party-MCP) and Enoch Chihana (Rumphi Central, Alliance for Democracy-Aford) on November 19 obtained an injunction stopping Kalemba from taking oath of office.
Kalemba’s appointment in October this year was questioned by opposition politicians after it was learnt that she came third during the interviews for the position conducted by the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC).
President Peter Mutharika has defended his choice of Kalemba, citing her legislative drafting experience at the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
High Court judge Charles Mkandawire is said to have emerged first in the order of merit followed by Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) executive secretary Grace Malera, according to sources.
In the affidavit to support the application, Chihana said Mkandawire emerged the successful candidate among eight who attended the interviews on October 5 and 6, according to minutes of the PSC which he submitted to the court.
Kalemba becomes the second female CoP since independence after Matilda Katopola who left office acrimoniously in 2012 and has since collected about K70 million from government as compensation for unfair dismissal. n