The High Court in Mzuzu has vacated an injunction stopping People’s Party (PP) president Joyce Banda from appointing Uladi Mussa as acting president and Kamlepo Kalua as third vice-president
Five PP members, including national organising secretary Salim Bagus, obtained an injunction to stop the appointment of the duo on the basis that the decision was solely made by Banda without consulting the national governing council (NGC). The injunction also restrained Mussa and Kalua from performing any functions related to the said positions until the court ruled on the matter.
However, Banda, Mussa and Kalua engaged lawyer Godfrey Nyirenda of Racane Associates to challenge the injunction on grounds that Bagus and others flouted procedures in rushing to get the order.
Nyirenda cited Article 36 of PP Constitution which states that all disputes regarding interpretation of the constitution shall be referred to PP legal affairs sub-committee which shall be headed by national director of legal affairs for settlement and the sub-committee may in its absolute discretion recommend the engagement of any such experts as the committee may deem necessary.
Mzuzu-based High Court judge Dingiswayo Madise, who earlier granted the injunction, entertained the application to vacate the same order on Thursdayy, noting that the matter was prematurely filed before him.
He said he accepted the application to vacate the injunction on mere technicality and not on the merits.
The judge said what was to be looked into was not whether the order was correctly granted, but rather whether Bagus and others should have gone to the court in the first place and if there were other internal remedies within PP structures.
Madise has since referred the matter to PP legal affairs sub-committee to call all concerned parties to a hearing within 14 days and resolve the matter amicably as one political family.
Reads Madise’s ruling in part: “In my considered view, the case was prematurely filed in this court. I refer it back to the legal affairs sub-committee of People’s Party to call all concerned parties to a hearing within 14 days and resolve the matters amicably as one political family under the name of People’s Party.”
Speaking in an interview later, Nyirenda said Bagus and others flouted their own constitution and did not disclose to the judge that they avoided the PP constitutional remedy.
Bagus said he was yet to be briefed regarding vacation of the injunction. He said he can only comment after consulting lawyers.n