Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chief whip Simon Vuwa Kaunda says the party’s members of Parliament (MPs) will respect the court order retaining Kondwani Nankhumwa as Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LoP).
After DPP legislators voted Nankhumwa as LoP, the party held a meeting where it resolved to strip him of the title and elected Francis Kasaila for the position.
The meeting went further to expel from the party Nankhumwa, secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey, Rumphi North MP Jappie Mhango and Mulanje West MP Yusuf Nthenda on Friday.
However, Nankhumwa obtained an injunction against his removal from the party and from his position as LoP.
But Vuwa Kaunda has since said the MPs in Parliament respect the court order to uphold Nankhumwa as leader of opposition.
He said DPP respects the courts and will ensure the status quo remains until the injunction has been vacated.
Said Kaunda: “As DPP members in Parliament, we respect the court order. Being the chief whip who is responsible for allocating seats, I have not effected any changes in the seating arrangement because I respect the court order.
“Honourable Nankhumwa will continue to sit in the front row of the opposition side. The same applies with Jappie Mhango who is the treasurer general.”
He said for the time being, MPs are waiting from the party to challenge the injunction.
Since the party lost power, it has been experiencing serious leadership conflicts. Some sectors of the party want a leadership change but such demands have not been welcomed by all party members.
Nankhumwa in an interview last week said the election was conducted following direction by First Deputy Speaker Madalitso Kazombo last week that the party should submit the name of the elected LOP.
Kazombo’s decision followed communication from Mutharika that Kasaila replaces Nankhumwa in the LOP role. In June this year Mutharika also appointed Nankhumwa into the role after losing the court-ordered June 23 Fresh Presidential Election, a development that pushed DPP to the opposition side.