November 23, 2020

Malawian Constitutional Court Judges Win Global Prize

Malawi’s Constitutional Court Judges have won the global Chatham House prize of the United Kingdom [UK] for upholding independence of the Judiciary in Malawi.

The Chatham House prize was established in 2005 and is awarded on behalf of its patron, Her Majesty, the queen of England.

The Malawi Judges earned international praises for their courage following a historic 03 February 2020 ruling on the country’s nullification of the May 2019 elections results which were manipulated by the former Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson, Justice Dr. Jane Ansah, to favour former President Prof. Peter Mutharika as the winner.

In their ruling, the Judges ordered for a Fresh Presidential Elections [FPE] to be held in 150 days which was 23rd June, 2020 and declaring Prof. Peter Mutharika illegitimate, not duly elected by the majority of Malawians.

Former President Prof. Mutharika has, however, been disputing the ruling of the Constitutional Court judges describing it as a judicial coup d’etat of his Government siding with the opposition.

Speaking in an interview as monitored in one of the local television stations, Prof. Mutharika said the elections were not free and fair due to among others, violence as reported in some districts of the country and DPP monitors not taking part in the centres especially in the Central Region.

Prof. Mutharika accepted that the DPP lost Government as the Judges were not entirely partisan but maintained that the party had never lost an election claiming that he was a legitimate winner in the May 2019 elections; and the international observers made a recommendation that the elections were conducted in a free, fair, transparent and credible manner.

Since he lost the office of President to Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, former President Mutharika has quietly resided at his residence in Mangochi saying he wanted the new President to get settled in, (as) there should be one president at a time.

……’’The job of the president is so difficult that those who have never been president cannot understand,’’….said Prof. Mutharika.

He urged Malawians to support President Dr. Chakwera for the country to move forward, faulting those who have judged him in his 100 days in office as wrong saying the president cannot be judged because he has been in office for three months.

By Vincent Gunde

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