The High Court in Malawiâ€™s commercial city, Blantyre, on Sunday turned down Friday Jumbeâ€™s application for an injunction to stop the UDF national convention scheduled for Tuesday next week (October 30).
The court will, however, hear Jumbe and the other UDF camp headed by secretary general Kennedy Makwangwala and Atupele Muluzi on Wednesday before making a determination that may seal the fate of the convention.
Makwangwala said on Monday he is aware of Jumbeâ€™s attempt to get the injunction and indicated his camp has instructed lawyer Kalekeni Kaphale to challenge the application.
Makwangwala said the party has already spent K18 million (about $60 000) and has, among other activities, invited international dignitaries.
But Jumbe argues that holding the partyâ€™s national convention creates grave constitutional confusion because it is not the duty of Makwangwala as secretary general to convene and manage national conferences, rather, the National Executive Committee (NEC).
â€œI can state without fear of contradiction that the NEC of the party is not convening and/or managing the national conference,â€ states Jumbe in his affidavit in support of the application for the injunction.
Last year, Atupele Muluzi questioned Makwangwala for identifying with the Jumbe camp which he said is deemed an illegitimate organ of the party.
The matter was brought before the court, but it is yet to be decided. Makwangwala has since dumped the Jumbe camp.
On October 1, Makwangwala gave notice of the national conference in a newspaper to which Jumbe poses questions on the legality of the national conference.
After the publication of the notice, the leadership of UDF, argues Jumbe, tried to reason with Makwangwala to first iron out the divisions that have rocked the party before the national conference can be held.
Task teams from both camps were formed to discuss the issue.
The discussions, however, bore no fruit allegedly because Makwangwala was uncooperative.
Jumbe argues postponement of the national conference does not and cannot result in hardship to Makwangwala and Muluzi because if there are expenditures that have been made, they are recoverable.