High Court rejects plea to stop DPP meeting

High Court Judge Simeon Mdeza has rejected a plea by some opposition Democratic Progressive Party members, who wanted it to stop other members of the party from holding the National Governing Council meeting that has been summoned by the party’ s secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey last week. “The order sought by the interested parties will render the…

By Cathy Maulidi

High Court Judge Simeon Mdeza has rejected a plea by some opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members, who wanted it to stop other members of the party from holding the National Governing Council (NGC) meeting that has been summoned by the party’s secretary general (SG) Grezelder Jeffrey last week.

The members— who include Shadric Namalomba, Chipiliro Mpinganjira, Jean Mathanga and others— had moved the court to stop the meeting, which is slated for today, as they are challenging their absence on the NGC members’ list.

But, in his ruling, Mdeza has since set January 12 next year as the day he would hear the matter while declining to stop the NGC meeting. According to the court, there is a similar matter in court involving the defendant (DPP vice president for the Southern Region and Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa) which the court feels should be heard together with the current application on the set date.

“The order sought by the interested parties will render the application by the defendant, which will be heard on 12/01/24 at 2pm, redundant. For this reason, I decline to grant the interested parties the order sought,” the ruling reads. Last week, Jeffrey announced that the party would hold an NGC meeting today.

However, the party’s vice president for the Eastern Region Bright Msaka, who claimed to have been sent by party president Peter Mutharika, on Monday said the meeting has not been sanctioned by the party leader and that it could, therefore, not be held.

Msaka said Mutharika would call for a meeting for the Central Executive Committee this week to discuss issues related to the up-coming convention and differences rocking the erstwhile governing party.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey has stood her ground, saying the NGC meeting she summoned will go ahead today.

“We are just following a court order,” she said.

Among the NGC members listed as eligible to attend the meeting are Nankhumwa, vice for the Northern Region Jappie Mhango, vice for the Eastern Region Bright Msaka and vice for the Central Region Uladi Mussa.

Jeffrey and her deputy Aaron Sangala are also on the list. Nicholas Dausi is also listed. In October this year, the High Court ordered the party to hold an NGC meeting and, thereafter, an elective convention within 90 days.