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Court summons MCP Secretary General

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Secretary General, Gustave Kaliwo and Deputy Secretary General, James Chatonda Kaunda, on Thursday went to the High Court in Lilongwe after being summoned to give evidence on behalf of district chairmen who are against a reshuffle made to the party’s National Executive Committee (Nec).

The Party’s president, Lazarus Chakwera, made the changes on August 27, 2015.

MCP District Chairman for Dedza Valley, Lackson Khamalatha, and others wanted Kaliwo and Kaunda to give evidence relating to their opposition to the party’s application that they are illegally holding their positions.

The party’s lawyer, Wapona Kita, filed a notice of a preliminary objection to dismiss the chairpersons’ action, saying the party’s 2003 constitution stipulates that district chairpersons and their committees can only be valid and constitutionally in power for a period of three years.

“We command you to attend before Justice Charles Mkandawire in open court in Lilongwe Civil Registry on the 25th August 2016 at 9:00 am and so from day to day until your evidence shall have been taken, to give evidence on behalf of the applicants,” reads a writ of subpoena, dated 23 August 2016.

Lawyer representing the chairpersons, Wesley Namasala, said other people he wanted to ask questions were the party’s regional chairpersons Patrick Chilondola (Central), Osborn Shela (North South), Peter Simbi (Southern), Kezzie Msukwa (North North), Augustine Chidzanja (Lakeshore) and Harry Mchilima (Eastern).

The chairpersons swore an affidavit in support of preliminary objection.

Although both Kaliwo and Kaunda and some of the chairpersons were available in court, the party withdrew the preliminary objection.

“We have not completely discarded the argument. We are going to use it in the arguments of the main action,” Kita said in an interview after Judge Mkandawire adjourned the case to Monday.

Khamalatha and his Salima district counterpart, Langizani Mapulesi, are some of the party officials challenging the August 2015 Nec reshuffle.

They started the issue by petitioning the party to hold an emergency convention to regularise the changes.

The matter was initially handled by Judge Chifundo Kachale, before it was taken over by Judge Mkandawire.

Kachale is now handling criminal cases while Mkandawire is handling civil cases.

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