June 19, 2021

High Court Faults APM for Breaching Law

The High Court in Lilongwe has faulted former President Professor Peter Mutharika for breaching the law by deliberately appointing 4 DPP members as Malawi Electoral Commission [MEC] Commissioners.

On 8th May 2020, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that two MEC Commissioners, Ms. Linda Angelina Kunje and Dr. Jean Mathanga were incompetent and not allowed to preside over any future elections in Malawi.

In June 2020 with days before the country went to the court sanctioned Fresh Presidential Elections [FPE], Professor Peter Mutharika, appointed Ms. Kunje and Dr. Mathanga to MEC bringing the total to four commissioners from DPP.

According to law, DPP and MCP were supposed to have 2 commissioners each but Professor Mutharika changed the law by himself to make it, 4 for DPP and 2 for MCP.

High Court Judge, Kenyatta Nyirenda, ruled that the two MEC Commissioners, Ms. Linda Kunje and Dr. Jean Mathanga appointed by Professor Peter Mutharika were not duly appointed.

The Court ruled that MCP Commissioners, Anthony Mukumbwa and Olivia Liwewe will continue as MEC Commissioners with the leader of DPP in Parliament ordered to submit 3 names immediately within 7 days.

The Court has also ordered that MCP resubmits the nomination of Richard Chapweteka whose name was removed as a MEC Commissioner, when nominated by the MCP at the time that Professor Peter Mutharika appointed the commissioners within 7 days.

Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda ruled that the declaration that the MEC Commissioners had not been duly elected with effect from the elections they managed including the 2020 Fresh Presidential Elections that elected President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera is invalid, saying the declaration does not affect the validity of the elections that the two MEC Commissioners presided.

By; Vincent Gunde

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