Speaker told to keep recognising Nankhumwa as Leader of Opposition

Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda

With only a few days left for the National Assembly to begin its deliberations, Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda has advised Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara to keep recognising Kondwani Nankhumwa as Leader of Opposition.

Recently, the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) removed some of its members from the party, including the leader of the opposition Nankhumwa.

After showing Nankhumwa and exit door, the party appointed George Chaponda as the new leader of the opposition through a letter the party wrote to the speaker of the parliament, Catherine Gotani Hara.

On January 29, 2024, the Speaker of Parliament invited the newly appointed leader of the opposition to a business meeting of the house and also extended her congratulations.

The business meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at 9:30 in the morning.

On the other hand, Nankhumwa’s lawyers wrote to the Speaker’s office that Nakhumwa is still the leader of the opposition. They argued that accepting Chaponda is a violation of the law and it will be contempt of the court that issued an injunction last year restricting the DPP from removing Nankhumwa from the position.

However, Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda, has advised the Speaker of Parliament to keep recognizing Nankhumwa as leader of opposition.

The Speaker has since invited Nankhumwa to the meeting as Leader of Opposition.

But political and legal experts say Nankhumwa is not fit to be the opposition leader in the house, saying that the party has the power to choose the opposition leader.

The experts have advised Nankhumwa to accept that he is no longer a member of the DPP party, and he has not yet challenged the decision of kicking out of the party in court.

But another legal expert, George Jivason Kazipatike, has told Malawi24 that if there is an injunction and if it is still valid, then Honourable Nankhumwa will still remain the leader of the opposition.

Kazipatike further said the DPP party should fight to lift the injunction.

“Let me state here that it is true that the party has the power to choose the leader of the opposition in parliament, and the party did not make any mistake in choosing Hon. Dr. Chaponda but of there is an injunction, DPP should get the injunction vacated,” said Mr. Kazipatike in an interview with Malawi24.

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