The High Court in Mzuzu Tuesday sustained the injunction obtained by civil society organisations (CSOs) preventing Minister of Agriculture, George Chaponda, from carrying out ministerial assignments.
Judge John Chirwa made the decision after an inter-partes hearing following an application by Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale to lift the injunction.
He has since set January 31 for ruling.
Coincidentally, January 31 is the day when the constituted Commission of Inquiry will present their report on the maize deal to President Peter Mutharika.
According to legal minds, this means Chaponda is not supposed to discharge any government duties until that day, and failure to adhere to this he will be in contempt of court.
Chaponda finds himself in trouble following reports that as responsible minister he was at the centre of the dubious Maize deal between Malawi and Zambia.
Speaking to the press in Mzuzu after the hearing which was in camera, AG Kaphale said apart from vacating the injunction, he also asked the court to strike off the civil society organisations because they do not have ‘direct interest’ in the matter.
He added that he had further applied against any judicial review, arguing there is no case befitting further inquiry for judicial review.
“We didn’t question Mr. Charles Kajoloweka presence in court but we wonder why we should have CSOs in the case. We feel these are not direct interested parties who have been affected in accordance to the matter. Therefore, we applied for the vacation of judicial review and injunction obtained against the minister,” Kaphale said.
However, lawyers for the CSOs Wesley Mwafulirwa and Victor Gondwe told the press that they have already argued their case against government’s applications.
During the hearing, government was represented by Kaphale while CSOs were represented by their lawyers including Moses Mkandawire of Church and Society and of Livingstonia Synod of Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) and Charles Kajoloweka of Youth and Society.
And addressing the people who gathered outside the court, and dressed in all black, Mkandawire said the battle continues until justice prevails.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues