The High Court in Lilongwe on Friday granted an order stopping Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) from summoning its vice president for the Southern Region, Kondwani Nankhumwa, to a disciplinary hearing.
Nankhumwa was scheduled to appear before his party’s Disciplinary Committee for alleged insubordination and undermining DPP leadership for holding whistle stop rallies in Blantyre last month.
However, many Malawians looked at the summoning and the called disciplinary hearing as a precursor for his expulsion, especially considering that it came barely a week after DPP spokesperson Shadric Namalomba threatened that the party would take all the necessary measures to ensure Nankhumwa and his sympathizers leave the party for alleged insubordination.
The threat followed a decision by the Leader of Opposition, Secretary General Greselder Jeffrey and Yusuf Nthenda challenged resolutions the party made at its recent National Governing Council (NGC) meeting at Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi where the cadres endorsed party president Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika to be the torchbearer in the 2025 presidential elections.
And true to Namalomba’s threat, the Disciplinary Committee of the party summoned Nankhumwa to a disciplinary hearing for alleged insubordination and disrespect to the party leadership.
“TAKE NOTICE that if you fail to attend the Disciplinary Hearing without any justifiable reasons, the Committee has the power to make recommendations to the Central Committee for necessary sanctions including expulsion, suspension or censure. TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that if you mobilise your supporters to accompany you to the Disciplinary Hearing, the Committee has the power to make recommendations to the Central Committee for necessary sanctions including expulsion, suspension or censure,” read the letter the Disciplinary Committee wrote Nankhumwa.
But in a twist of events, the Mulanje Central lawmaker has obtained the High Court order restraining the party from going ahead with its planned hearing.
Nankhumwa’s lawyer, Wapona Kita, confirmed the development with local media on Friday that the court in Lilongwe had issued a stop order after considering that the party’s disciplinary committee, which comprises seven members, is illegally constituted as the party’s constitution recognizes a five member panel.
Apparently, the National Governing Council (NGC) meeting, which took place in Mangochi, appointed two more members to the committee. And this is one of the resolutions Nankhumwa is challenging, arguing the NGC meeting was illegally called and conducted.