Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) has obtained a court injunction, restraining Blantyre City Council (BCC) from removing the billboard of its presidential candidate Atupele Muluzi at Kamuzu Stadium Roundabout in Blantyre.
UDF secretary general Kandi Padambo said yesterday the party sought the injunction after getting wind of BCC’s plans to have the billboard removed.
“We got a tip-off that there was a meeting between BCC and the police at the council whose agenda was to remove the billboard. Because of that, we rushed to court so that whenever they decide to remove the billboard, they should be shown the injunction,” said Padambo.
Reads the injunction by High Court judge Dunstan Mwaungulu dated March 24 2014: “It is ordered that the first defendant [BCC] either by itself or its agents or servants whosoever or howsoever acting be and are hereby ordered to forthwith on service of this order restrained from removing the campaign poster bearing the face of Right Honourable Atupele Muluzi, the presidential candidate for the plaintiff [UDF], herein hoisted on a billboard located at Shoprite/Kamuzu Stadium Roundabout within the City of Blantyre.”
The Nation’s visit to where the billboard was erected saw some UDF members guarding the billboard.
“We are under instruction that when they come to remove it, they should be shown an injunction,” said a guard.
BCC chief executive officer Ted Nandolo said he was not aware about the matter as he was away in India.
Southern Region Police spokesperson Nicholas Gondwa said the police also questioned BCC’s decision to remove the billboard.
“BCC called us on Monday to remove the billboard, but we asked them why they wanted to involve us when all along they have been doing that on their own,” said Gondwa.
About two weeks ago, UDF erected the billboard at the same place, but according to UDF administrative secretary Ian Kanyuka, BCC removed it, arguing the campaign period had not yet been opened.