Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Gotani Hara has ordered the House to stop discussing contents of a ministerial statement delivered on Monday by Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi, saying doing so will be sub judice.
The Speaker said the ministerial statement, titled Political Violence and Effects on Socio-economic Development to Parliament, contains some things which are in the courts; hence, not appropriate for discussion in the House.
Said Gotani Hara: “You will recall that when the House was considering a ministerial statement by Minister of Homeland Security, Chitipa East, [Kezzie Kasambala Msukwa, Malawi Congress Party-MCP], rose on point of order seeking guidance if the House was to continue discussing the minister’s statement in view of sub judice rule of the House.”
“Looking at the context of the statement, I conclude that the House may not be safe to continue the statement by the minister and rule that discussion on the statement be curtailed forthwith.”
The Speaker cited parts of Dausi’s ministerial statement where he said the presidential elections were free and fair though some opposition parties are in the court challenging the poll.
She also mentioned the part where he referred to the Constitutional Court, saying the issue is sub judice; hence, her calling for the curtailment of the whole statement.
In his statement, Dausi said: “In an effort to pressure the Constitutional Court to annul results of the presidential elections and force Malawi Electoral Commission [MEC] chairperson Jane Ansah to resign, the opposition organised demonstrations which frequently turned violent. “
There is rising tension in the country currently with the MCP denying the presidential results hence calling Peter Mutharika’s leadership illegitimate and together with UTM Party have filed a case against him and the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) seeking nullification of the presidential results.
MCP has been holding protests following MEC declaration of President Peter Mutharika as winner of the May 21 presidential election.
The party’s president Lazarus Chakwera and his UTM Party counterpart Saulos Chilima want the presidential poll results in the May 21 Tripartite Elections nullified over alleged irregularities.
In the case, in which the High Court is sitting as the Constitutional Court, Mutharika is the first respondent while MEC is the second.
Mutharika and MEC have since filed an appeal in the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, but the Constitutional Court ruled that the respondents can proceed with the appeal while the substantive matter proceeds.
MCP and UTM Party on June 20 joined nationwide protests organised by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition demanding Ansah’s resignation.