Malawi Parliament served with injunction over seating plan


Malawi Parliament has been served with an injunction which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Member of Parliament for Mangochi South West Shadreck Namalomba obtained after Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa moved him from front to back seats.

Speaker Catherine Gotani Hara today announced that her office has received communication from the office of Attorney General about the injunction restraining changes in seating plan initiated by leader of opposition Nankhumwa who is legislator for Mulanje Central.

Hara said the House would be suspended in order to return to the seating plan that was there before the changes made by Nankhumwa.

However, Leader of the house Richard Chimwendo Banda who is legislator for the ruling Malawi Congress Party expressed concern over the injunction, claiming anyone can wake up and secure an injunction to disrupt proceedings in the House.

Banda advised the Speaker to exercise caution in adhering to such court orders to preserve the independence of Parliament.

Minister of Justice Titus Mvalo concurred with Banda and he asked Members of Parliament to consider amending the Constitution so that Parliament should not be served with injunctions during sessions as they disrupt proceedings.

Nankhumwa recently appointed a shadow cabinet and DPP spokespersons in Parliament.  He then informed Speaker of Parliament about changes in seatng plan on the opposition benches reflecting the appointments.

The changes saw Namalomba being moved from seat number 100 from seat number 25. Namalomba went to court where he obtained the injunction which stops Nankhumwa’s recent appointment of a shadow cabinet and DPP spokespersons in the House without the party’s approval. The order is also staying a decision by Leader of Opposition to change the sitting plan.