There was drama at the High Court in Lilongwe on Monday after High Court Judge Charles Mkandawire dismissed a case in which some district chairmen of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are challenging changes party President, Lazarus Chakwera, made to the National Executive Committee (Nec).
Judge Mkandawire dismissed the matter after lawyer, Wesley Namasala, came to the court late. MCP lawyer, Wapona Kita, left the court premises just after the matter was dismissed.
Following the dismissal, Lackson Khamalatha and about 10 other district chairmen who are against the changes were seen at the High Court, apparently try to comprehend what had just happened.
“How can the matter be dismissed? The lawyer was just late for 15 minutes. We don’t think this is the end of the matter. We will seek advice from the lawyer as to what will happen next. We will continue pursuing the matter,” said Khamalatha, Dedza Valley Chairman.
He said they were ready for the case, and indicated that some of their colleagues were on their way to testify.
“We were told that there were three days of hearing. We were prepared to testify. Some are still on their way,” Khamalatha said.
The chairmen were seen in small groups discussing the way forward but a young man came and told them to leave. They left the court premises in a minibus.
The judge had initially set three days to hear the matter starting from yesterday.
More drama unfolded later in the day as MCP immediately called a press conference, to inform its members about the development, while Namasala was filing documents in court for restoration of the case.
At the press conference MCP First Deputy Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka, said the dismissal of the case was a relief to the party.
“This is a happy moment for the party. We have been failing to hold elections at all levels because of the injunctions associated with the case. But since the case has been dismissed, we will proceed with the elections that were put on hold,” Mkaka said.
The party’s Director of Elections, Maxwell Thyolera, said the notice for district elections issued on May 13 this year stands and advised all regional committees to start preparing for the elections.
Hours after the press conference, The Daily Times sourced some documents filed by Namasala at the High Court for restoration of the case on the cause list.
“Let the plaintiff by counsel attend the judge in chambers in the High Court, Lilongwe District Registry on the day of 2016 at o’clock in the noon on the hearing of an application on behalf of the applicants herein for an order that the matter herein, which was dismissed for non-attendance be restored to this cause list of the ground appearing in the affidavit appearing herewith,” reads expartes summons.
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