Parliament and Transglobe Produce Export Limited have opened talks over contempt of court charges against chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Irrigation Joseph Chidanti Malunga.
The two parties met last Friday at the High Court in Blantyre for the talks for a possible withdrawal of the matter after Transglobe took Malunga to court for allegedly making prejudicial statements with potential to interfere with the administration of justice.
Transglobe, a private firm, wants Malunga—who is also member of Parliament (MP) for Nsanje South West—to be punished for undermining judicial independence after he called for the prohibition of the company in the country for obtaining an order stopping the implementation of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp).
But while confirming the two parties’s meeting over the matter yesterday, lawyer for Transglobe, Lusungu Gondwe, declined to divulge any further details, saying doing so was “prejudicial” to the issue.
He said: “I can confirm that we are indeed talking and the matter was adjourned to Wednesday, November 22.”
On his part, lawyer representing Parliament, Kizito Pheleni, referred The Nation to assistant Clerk of Parliament (CoP) responsible for protocol and public relations, Leonard Mengezi, whose phone was not available.
However, sources privy to the matter have told The Nation that Transglobe wants Chidanti Malunga to retract and publicly apologise for the alleged series of statements made on matters that are subject of court proceedings.
The talks are expected to continue this Wednesday before the court determines the way forward on the matter.
Last Tuesday, Parliamentary proceedings were temporarily suspended after the legislators asked the Business Committee to first discuss the court order against Chidanti Malunga.
The legislators argued that it was not proper for the House’s business of the day to proceed when one of them had been dragged to court over parliamentary duties. They asked the Speaker of the Parliament to quickly act on the matter.