Blantyre Bangwe Member of Parliament (MP) Henry Mpofu Shaba has obtained an injunction against his dismissal from the Malawi National Assembly.
Three other MPs, who were elected in 2009 on a United Democratic Front (UDF) ticket, have also obtained injunctions stopping the Speaker from acting on their petitions as filed by UDF. The three are Ibrahim Matola, Alfred Mwechumu and Shamil Asibu.
UDF petitioned the Speaker Henry Chimunthu Banda to have the legislators expelled from the House for crossing the floor.
High Court Judge Dingiswayo Madise of the Mzuzu Registry granted the injunctions against the Speaker’s implementation of Section 65 of the Constitution on Thursday.
Shaba asked the court to order that he retains his seat pending a judicial review whereas the other MPs stopped the Speaker from acting on the petition.
Reads Madise’s order: “It is ordered, subject to the direction of the court contained in the order granting leave to apply for judicial review, that until the determination of the present matter or until a further order of the court, the respondent is restrained from further conduct, hearing or determination of any crossing the floor petition brought pursuant to Section 65 of the Constitution against applicants.”
Among the grounds for obtaining an injunction, Shaba argued he did not cross the floor as he was expelled from UDF. He also argued that the petition was signed by Kennedy Makwangwala, former UDF secretary general, who is not a legitimate person to push such action.
The court has also ordered for the judicial review and that interpartes summons be issued within 14 days and that each applicant should deposit K100 000 with the court within seven days.
Hearing of the motion should be within 28 days, ordered the court.