Malawi Congress Party (MCP) will have to wait a bit longer to know whether its much-anticipated national convention will proceed as scheduled or not.
This follows the reservation by the High Court in Blantyre to lift an injunction obtained by the main opposition party’s embattled vice-president Richard Msowoya and four other members.
The suspended faction of Msowoya, which also includes secretary general Gustav Kaliwo, treasurer general Tony Kandiero, deputy secretary general Chatonda Kaunda and fired publicity secretary Jessie Kabwila, obtained the injunction restraining the party from convening a convention.
The order further stopped MCP president Lazarus Chakwera, first defendant, and Ezekiel Ching’oma, second defendant, from planning to hold the convention until the court makes determination. Ching’oma is representing all members of the party’s national executive committee (NEC).
The vacation of the injunction by the court would have given the party a fitting direction on its plans to hold the convention scheduled to be held in Mzuzu early next month.
Yesterday, lawyers representing both parties made their submissions to Judge Jack Nriva before he adjourned the matter to an unspecified date for his ruling.
The lawyers argued for nearly 50 minutes on each side on why the court should either sustain the injunction or discharge it as prayed for by the party.
In his argument, Kaphale argued that by calling for the convention, the MCP NEC acted against the party’s constitution because the body was illegitimate.
He said Chakwera did not follow the dictates of the party constitution when he restructured the NEC by removing old members and unilaterally replacing them with new ones.
But on his part, Nthewa pleaded with the judge to discharge the injunction, arguing that would be in the interest of justice as the claimants did not exhaust internal mechanisms within the party as stipulated in article 65 of the MCP constitution.
He further defended Chakwera, saying he never flouted the party constitution when he reconstituted it as he was mandated by the 2013 national convention to do so.
Outside the court premises, hundreds of MCP followers clad in their party colours congregated to hear the outcome of the case. Others carried hastily assembled posters insulting Kaliwo.
And as Kaliwo left the premises in his black Mercedez Benz with a South African registration, the supporters nearly blocked his way while jeering at him and banging his vehicle.