The High Court sitting in Lilongwe Thursday told the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s National Governing Council (NGC) to internally address the problem of infighting and call for a convention at a time of its convenience.
The court made the observation when it rejected a request by the party’s embattled vice president for the Southern Region Kondwani Nankhumwa and secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey that it should order the party to conduct a convention earlier than planned.
DPP director of legal affairs Charles Mhango said the court also declined the two’s request to declare that former president Peter Mutharika is no longer president of the party.
The court, however, granted Nankhumwa and Jeffrey’s request that they return to their positions.
“In his wisdom, Judge Simeon Mdeza said he does not have powers to dictate when we can hold a convention because he does not know how much it costs. He has also ruled that Professor Peter Mutharika remains president of the party,” he said.
According to Mhango, the party did not defend the case as it had already reinstated them into their positions.
Jeffrey welcomed her and Nankhumwa’s reinstatement, saying the party’s reinstatement was fake.
“They did not reinstate us in good faith. If they, indeed, reinstated us, why were they sidelining us from their meetings? Just yesterday [Wednesday], Professor Mutharika issued a statement condemning a rally I organised as secretary general. What’s that?
“I am happy that the court has ruled that I am secretary general and that Honourable Nankhumwa is Leader of Opposition. If they do not utilise us, they will be in contempt of court. The party’s president condemned my rally. Now that the court has reinstated me, I am going to organise another mega rally. Let’s see what they will do,” she said.
On the court’s decision to decline their call for it to order an early convention, Jeffrey said what is more important is that the court reinstated them.