BY ZIKOMO MATOPE
Government’s lead lawyer, Attorney General (AG) Thabo-Chakaka Nyirenda, has moved in to protect the Speaker and the independence of Parliament by filing against a court injunction, obtained by Mangochi South West legislator Shadric Namalomba, that was served on parliament.
The injunction, among others, restrained Speaker Catherine Gotani Hara from recognising some decisions by the Leader of Opposition (LoP) Kondwani Nankhumwa, including appointment of a shadow cabinet and change of sitting arrangements.
Nankhumwa, who is Mulanje Central legislator and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice president for the southern region announced a 33-member shadow cabinet which was upheld by the House but ruffled feathers in the erstwhile ruling party as former President Peter Mutharika brushed it off saying it did not have his blessing.
Also, Nankhumwa changed sitting arrangements and moved Namalomba from seat 25 to 100, which pushed the latter to obtain the injunction.
AG Nyirenda, however, has said his moving in on the matter has nothing to do with politics.
“This has nothing to do with the Leader of Opposition [Kondwani Nankhumwa] who has his own lawyers. My interest is to protect the Speaker so that she is not dragged into internal matters of a political party. That’s purely a bedroom issue for the DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] .
“Secondly, we want to protect the independence of the National Assembly. Courts must not dictate how Parliament should conduct its business. We will be setting a wrong precedence. Parliament is another arm of government that should operate independently. It is up to Parliament to decide how to deal with the issue at hand,” Nyirenda is quoted as saying in the press.
According to Nyirenda, it was baffling that some quarters were against his move to challenge the injunction.
“By the way I am surprised that some people think I did not need to do this. I thought we were sued and we needed to respond?” he wondered.