Some senior Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members have dragged the party (as first defendant) and its President Peter Mutharika (as second defendant) to the High Court Civil Division challenging his continued leadership.
The three, deputy director of political affairs Fredrick Malata, national governing council member Ken Msonda and deputy director of operations Thomas Nyirongo want a court declaration that Mutharika is not fit to continue as President and should therefore cease to perform any duties of the office of President.
According to court documents which we have seen the three further want a declaration that Mutharika is not eligible to contest as a Presidential candidate at the upcoming National Political Conference and that an interim President be appointed by the party central committee from among the members who have shown interest to contest as Presidential candidates for the party in the upcoming National Political Conference.
According to an affidavit sworn by their lawyer Gladwell Majekete of Adrian and Company, the three argue that Mutharika, who was elected in 2013 as party President at a National Political Conference in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, is clinging to the position illegally.
“The 2nd Defendant’s term of office expired after five years but continues to hold office until new office bearers are elected at the National Political Conference following his running for the Presidency of the Republic of Malawi in 2019 and 2020 in accordance with the Provisions of the 1st Defendant’s Constitution.
“The Claimants aver that the 2″d Defendant has within the past three years conducted the business of the 1st Defendant Party in total breach of the Party’s Constitution. Meanwhile, the Party is about to go to the National Political Conference as ordered by the Court and the 2ND defendant has expressed interest to contest as a Presidential Candidate for the Party.
“The Claimants verily believe that the 2nd ‘defendant is not eligible to contest as Presidential Candidate of the party at the upcoming National Political Conference for the following because he has already served two terms as President of the Party by virtue of his Presidential candidature for the Republic of Malawi, failed to uphold the Constitution of the Party thereby breaching intra-party democratic principles in view of the breaches.
“The 2nd Defendant has been acting in conflict of interest to the interest of the Party in order to promote personal interest for his presidential candidature. The 2nd Defendant was motivated by the endorsements he personally got to be the party’s Presidential candidate as well as amassing support from the general membership of the Party with no regard to the best interest of the Party as well as the adhering to the Party’s Constitution,” reads part of the affidavit dated November 6, 2023.
Meanwhile, the court has December 1, 2023 as the date to hear the application.(ATLAS