BLANTYRE—Despite Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President Professor Lazarus Chakwera extending an olive branch to a rebellious faction to bury the hatchet and join hands in rebuilding the party; this rebbelious faction, led by the party’s Secretary General Gustav Kaliwo and former spokesperson Jessie Kabwira, are both in words and action, not willing to retreat and work for the common good of the party.
The latest development is that the embattled SG Kaliwo, has with sponsorship from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) operatives, assembled a team of mercenary Lawyers in town to do everything possible to vacate the injunction against Convention which the MCP leader obtained.
Kaliwo announced a controversial emergency convention for the party slated for July 7 to July 9, 2017. He went further in releasing a list of people expected to be delegates of the said convention.
This move did not please the party and through its President Professor Lazarus Chakwera, the party obtained an injunction stopping the same arguing Kaliwo had no mandate to call for the said convention.
Judge Ruth Chinangwa granted the injunction.
“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.
Professor Chakwera also filed an affidavit in support of the application for the injuction through Counsel Peter Chankwantha.
In the affidavit, Chakwera argued that Kaliwo was supposed to have formally put across to the party’s national executive committee (NEC) the request by the former chairpersons for an emergency convention.
He also argued 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.
Notwithstanding this injunction, it has been established that the Kaliwo-Kabwira rebellious faction, with both finincial as well as human resource help, provided by ruling DPP operatives, are at an advanced stage to vacate the injunction so they can still go ahead with the convention.
“They have provided him with both financial resources and mercenary lawyers to vacate the injunction. As we speak, the up to the money Lawyers are running up and down to have this job done,” said a reliable source who confided in us on condition of anonymity.
“They seem not focused. They have a feeling that Hon Sidik Mia would be joining the party not many days from now hence pushing hard to vacate the injunction so they can cut the head which is Chakwera and reset the whole party system.
By doing so, they hope that they will achieve one of their goals, which is to prevent him [Mia] from joining the party as it is Chakwera himself who is enticing him to join the party,” said the source adding that “it appears the Kaliwo camp is hallucinating big time because this kind of politicking just doesn’t make any logical as well as political sense except reducing the chances of the party to form government in 2019.”
The source added that the ruling DPP sees Chakwera and Mia as real threats to their wish of renewing their mandate in the forthcoming 2019 general elections.
“The Afro barometer survey findings are very clear that the MCP leader would be ushered into power if elections were to be conducted today (the time when the survey was conduted) and recently, the media reported that the DPP strategists, in their recent meeting, resolved to bombard the lower shire with a number of political rallies with the aim of countering Mia’s political support base.
They are afraid of Chakwera and the likely joining of Mia into the party hence doing everything possible to destabilize the party using these agents,” said the source.
However, a seasoned lawyer expressed serious reservations if the court can vacate the Chakwera injunction arguing that Kaliwo’s case, is on the face of it, ‘a hopeless case.’