Despite Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Members of Parliament claiming that an injunction against Parliament served yesterday was setting a bad precedent, MCP already set a precedent in 2019 when it served the August House with an injunction during a sitting.
Yesterday, Parliament implemented a court injunction which Mangochi South West legislator Shadric Namalomba obtained ordering Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to revert to a sitting plan that was there before changes were made by Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa.
Section 5 of the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act states that Parliament cannot be served with any court process while it is sitting and such court process cannot be served through the Speaker, Clerk of Parliament or any member of the Assembly.
However, the injunction Namalomba obtained was served to Parliament through Attorney General.
But Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda who is legislator for Dowa East 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 Lands Sam Kawale who is also MCP MP for Dowa North East said the injunction set a bad precedent where it will be difficult for the House to transact business due to court interventions.
“We are eroding the whole essence of the independence of Parliament if we continue entertaining these injunctions,” he said.
Minister of Justice Titus Mvalo asked Members of Parliament to consider amending the Constitution so that Parliament should not be served with injunctions during sessions as they disrupt proceedings.
However, in 2019 Parliament was served with an injunction which was obtained by Lilongwe Mpenu Member of Parliament Eisenhower Mkaka who is also Malawi Congress Party Secretary General.
Due to the injunction, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Madalitso Kazombo failed to make a ruling on whether Parliament could confirm a new Inspector General of Police when another one was on leave pending retirement.
At the time, MCP did not want Duncan Mwapasa to be confirmed as Police Inspector General.