The High Court in Lilongwe is on Monday expected to make a ruling on a plea by Alliance for Democracy (Aford) secretary general, Christopher Ritchie, and others to order the party to hold a convention as soon as possible.
Initially, Ritchie, Dan Msowoya, Owen Mumba and Ernest Kanyenda wanted the court to order the party to hold the convention on April 7 this year.
However, after judge Charles Mkandawire heard the matter yesterday, he said his determination would be ready on Monday.
“I should be honest with you. I am going out of the country this weekend. But my decision will be ready on Monday. Just come to the court and check with my clerk,” Mkandawire said.
Ritchie, Msowoya, Mumba and Kanyenda are also contesting the inclusion of some people into the party’s National Executive Committee (Nec).
They are also against the removal of Ritchie as chairperson of the organising committee of the convention.
The four also want the court to order that Revamp Aford Movement (Ramo) be accommodated as observers.
In what is clearly a battle between the party’s president, Enock Chihana, and Karonga Central Member of Parliament, Frank Mwenefumbo, who is aspiring for the position, Ritchie and others first took the issue of the party’s convention to court in December last year after the expiry of the terms of office of the current Nec in September the same year.
Lawyer Titus Mvalo paraded Ritchie and Msowoya as witnesses of those who want the convention to be held as soon as possible while Chihana’s camp, represented by lawyer Gilbert Khonyongwa, paraded the party’s second vice president Tanilani Chipeta.
On December 22 last year, Mkandawire ordered the party’s Nec to meet on December 27 to agree on a date for the convention.
But Chipeta said they thought of taking advantage of the meeting to handle other issues affecting the party.
“Maybe we made a mistake. But we thought of handling the issue because Ramo is bringing confusion to the party,” Chipeta said.
Chipeta told the court that Ramo is campaigning for Mwenefumbo.
In his testimony, Chipeta, who is also chairperson of the orgainising committee of the convention, told the court that the December 27 2017 Nec meeting agreed to hold the convention between April 1and 30.
He said his committee has since agreed that the convention should be held on April 28 and 29, with a budget of K15 million.
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