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Malawi

MPs want Judge summoned to Parliament for questioning

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GAM Filling Stations

Members of Parliament (MPs) yesterday demanded that the House should summon for questioning the Judge whose judgement led to the  sale of a filling station in Lilongwe.

MPs discussed the matter after a motion on the sale of the filling station was tabled in Parliament

Member for Rumphi East Kamlepo Kalua was mover of the motion which read: “That following the snatching and the consequent sale of Gam Fuels Kanengo Filling Station and the manner in which the Filling Station has been disposed off by the Commercial Court, this House resolves that the Legal Affairs Committee shoud investigate how the Filling Station was disposed off by the Commercial Court and whether that action was the most appropriate one and report to this House as soon as possible’’.

Kamlepo argued that the Judge, Ken Manda, should appear before Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament to respond to questions regarding his judgement.

He added that another Malawian businessperson also lost a filling station following a judgement by the same Judge.

Other MPs suggested that Parliament should institute impeachment proceedings against the Judge.

Mangochi South West MP Shadric Namalomba said Parliament has powers even to impeach the Judge.

He argued that the Judiciary is losing the trust of Malawians.

“For the first time we have seen Malawians demonstrating against Judges, this has never happened,” said Namalomba.

However, Leader of the House Richard Chimwendo Banda argued that Parliament is overstepping its mandate, saying even though the House has powers to impeach a Judge, the power to inquire into Judge’s conduct rests with the Judicial Service Commission.

Chimwendo called on MPs to stand above emotions and respect the Constitution.

“Standing Orders are not above the Constitution. The Constitution vis above any document and there is separation of powers,” said Chimwendo.

Minister of Justice Titus Mvalo also argued that the matter should be sent to the Judicial Service Commission.

Parliament later adopted the motion assigning the Legal Affairs Committee to engage Judicial Service Commission on the controversial sale of the filling.

The filling station owned by Gelson Mkweza was sold to a company under Simama Group of Companies for K610 million.

This followed a ruling by Judge Ken Manda ordering Mkweza to pay Alfred Gangata K747 million compensation for loss of business after Mkweza confiscated car keys from Gangata in demand of K1.5 million payment for fuel.

Mkweza has since obtained a court order against the sale.

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