Monday, July 9, 2007

AG to challenge
Mussa injunction
By Rex Chikoko

The office of the Attorney General (AG) has set the wheels rolling to challenge an injunction obtained against the Speaker of Parliament not to act on section 65. The AG has confirmed.

UDF Member of Parliament for Zomba Central, Yunus Mussa, who is a deputy minister in the DPP-led government, obtained an injunction restraining the Speaker of National Assembly Louis Chimango from declaring seats of MPs, deemed to have crossed the floor, vacant.

AG Justice Jane Ansah said she was preparing to challenge Mussa’s injunction as the Chief Legal Advisor to government. She is also the Speaker’s legal advisor.

“We are dealing with the matter on behalf on the Speaker. We are going to challenge the injunction, we are only waiting for the courts to set the dates,” she said.

But Ansah would not divulge her line of defence after being asked how she would advise two arms of government, the Executive and the Legislature, who are at loggerheads over the ruling on Section 65.

Members of Parliament from the opposition benches believe Mussa’s injunction was initiated by MPs on the government side.

“There is no conflict. Mussa is an individual who has obtained an injunction against government, that is, the office of the Speaker and I am challenging the injunction along those lines. I am not looking at the political side of the whole issue. I am a professional. I must do my job professionally,” she said.

A source within the AG’s office said after deliberating on the issue, the office of the AG realised that it was imperative to challenge the injunction since it was obtained in a hurry.

“There was nothing wrong with obtaining the injunction but it would have been done after the Speaker has acted on the issues so the Office of the AG will challenge along those lines,” said the source.

Leader of the House Henry Chimunthu Banda said he saw nothing wrong for the AG to challenge the injunction since Mussa obtained the injunction in his own capacity.

“It was not government that obtained the injunction. In this case, the AG has to represent the Speaker,” he said.

But MCP spokesperson in the house Ishmael Chafukira insisted it was government that initiated the injunction, insinuating that Mussa was used by government

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