The fate of three opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) MPs who are accused of crossing the floor after they joined Malawi’s ruling People’s Party (PP) will be known today Tuesday, the Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda said on Monday.
While the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) MPs who were affected by the provision of Section 65 rushed to court to seek an injunction barring the Speaker from making a ruling, the three UDF MPs did not challenge the petition.
The three include Mangochi North’s Ibrahim Matola, who is also Minister of Energy, Mangochi North East MP Alfred Mwechumu and Shamil Asibu for Mangochi South West.
Making an announcement at the beginning of Monday’s sitting which started in the afternoon, Chimunthu Banda said while the DPP petitions were in the High Court in Mzuzu, he will make a ruling on the UDF petitions which were submitted to him towards the end of the last sitting in November.
“The concerned MPs have since responded to the petitions and I will make a ruling on the same tomorrow [Wednesday] morning,” he said.
On the DPP petitions, Chimunthu Banda said progress has been made so far in the court, which he said was contrary to the sentiments expressed by the Attorney General in the media that there is no progress on the case.
The Speaker also announced that Rumphi East MP Albert Thindwa, who was on the government side, has gone back to the DPP and requested to be allocated a seat on the opposition side.
Apart from the three UDF MPs, the DPP also wants at least 40 legislators to be thrown out of the House as they are deemed to have crossed the floor, contrary to Section 65 of the Constitution.
The DPP case has stalled after some of the MPs applied for a court injunction restraining the Speaker from making a ruling and declaring their seats vacant.