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Malawi Congress Party obtains injunction against convention

The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has obtained an injunction against an emergency convention which has been called by its Secretary General Gustave Kaliwo.

Last week, Kaliwo released a list of people that are expected to be delegates to the convention to take place from July 7 to 9 2017.

Judge Ruth Chinangwa granted the injunction after the MCP made the application through lawyer, Peter Chakhwantha, of Armstrong Lawyers and Company.

The Daily Times has seen the order of interlocutory injunction, dated June 12, 2017.

“Upon hearing counsel for the applicants and upon reading the supporting documents filed herein, it is directed that an interlocutory injunction is hereby granted restraining the respondents either by themselves, or agents or itself, or servants from effecting the decision of Secretary General Gustave Kaliwo as announced on 29th of April and 9 June, respectively, to commence preparation and actual converging of the purported Malawi Congress Party convention in the year 2017,” reads part of the order.

The plaintiffs are MCP and Lazarus Chakwera, the party’s president.

Lackson Khamalatha and former district chairpersons of the party and Kaliwo are first and second defendants, respectively.

“That originating process be filed and served on the defendants within seven working days [and] the application to vacate or vary the order be filed within seven working days, respectively. It is also hereby ordered that the respondents must refrain from doing any acts that may be deemed to be part of the preparations for the alleged party convention until the processes for substantial matter is held,” reads the document.

It adds that the former district chairpersons and Kaliwo risk imprisonment if they continue with plans for the convention.

“If you, the respondent, or your agents or servants herein mentioned be deemed to be acting contrary to this order of this court may lead to imprisonment or sequestration as you will be adjudged to be in contempt of court,”

An affidavit, dated June 9 2017, by Chakwera was filed in support of the application for the injunction.

In the affidavit, Chakwera argues that Kaliwo was supposed to have formally put across to the party’s national executive committee the request by the former chairpersons for an emergency convention.

He also argues that having relinquished their positions, the chairpersons no longer have powers to call for such an emergency convention in the name of the party.

“….As such being the position, the emergency convention summoned by the 2nd Defendant herein is wrongful, illegal and unlawful. That is legally trite to take heed that non-office bearers, by the dictates of the Malawi Congress Party Constitution, have no powers to petition for an emergency convention,” further reads the affidavit.

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