Malawi: Justice Minister Msaka Warns Parliament of Setting 'A Dangerous Precedence'

10 October 2019

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Bright Msaka SC, has issued a stern warning to the National Assembly to ensure separation of powers in its operations, saying rushing to courts to seek injunctions on matters deliberated in the august House can negatively affect business of the legislature.

Msaka said this after the motion for Acting Inspector General Duncan Mwapasa's confirmation has been halted following a court injunction obtained by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) legislator for Lilongwe Mpenu, Eisenhower Mkaka.

He obtained the injunction on Tuesday asking the High Court to interpret whether Parliament can confirm another Police chief when Rodney Jose is holding the same position while on leave pending retirement.

But Msaka said obtaining an injunction when the matter is in the floor in the House could be setting a wrong precedent.

"If the matter is on the floor and the court issues an injunction, this House will never debate anything," said Msaka.

He continued: "One day there will be a private members bill and the government side goes to the court to stop that bill from being discussed. We are setting a dangerous precedent.

Previously, there have been some court orders served on Parliament on several issues, including Section 65 and impeachment, among others.

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