People's Party and the DPP trade accusations over Section 65
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has accused the ruling People’s Party (PP) of being behind the court injunctions against implementation of Section 65 of the Constitution to delay the wheels of justice.
But PP deputy publicity secretary Ken Msonda said there is a distinction between the party and individual members of Parliament obtaining the injunctions.
DPP’s concerns have come in the wake of a fresh injunction obtained by Mzimba Solora MP Ackim Mwanza against the Speaker over Section 65.
Following the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika on April 5 2012, many politicians, notably MPs, have aligned themselves to PP whose leader is President Joyce Banda, Mutharika’s estranged vice-president.
DPP petitioned Speaker of Parliament Henry Chimunthu Banda to declare vacant seats of 46 affected MPs for crossing the floor.
Two weeks ago, the Speaker asked DPP to provide evidence on the matter, but the Speaker could not make a ruling in light of fresh evidence because Ntcheu West MP Chikumbutso Hiwa obtained an injunction stopping him from making a ruling on the matter.
DPP withdrew the case and then made a fresh application, this time involving 39 MPs, but on Monday this week, Mwanza, through lawyer Victor Gondwe, obtained an injunction again.
It is miscellaneous Civil Cause No. 14 of 2012 and the respondents are the State and Speaker of the National Assembly.
The court also ordered that the application for judicial review be made by an original motion to the judge in an open court, inter-parte summons be filled within seven days, hearing of inter-partes summons within 14 days.
Gondwe said the injunction basically stops the Speaker from working on an issue that he already worked on.
But DPP secretary general Elias Wakuda Kamanga has accused PP of being behind the injunctions to frustrate justice.
The President commented on Section 65 in Mangochi, saying it would be expensive to hold by-elections in over 30 constituencies with general elections barely two years away.
Ironically, DPP survived on Section 65 injunctions during the 2004-2009 lifespan of Parliament. This was after MPs quit their respective parties to join Mutharika who ditched the United Democratic Front (UDF), the party that sponsored his presidency in 2004, to form DPP.