Presidential Election Case Judgment, February 3rd, 2020: High Court Says
Registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal in Malawi, Agnes Patemba, has announced that ruling of the constitutional court judges trying the presidential election case shall be pronounced on Monday, February 3rd, 2020.
Patemba told Zodiak Online Tuesday that admission to the precincts of the High Court in Lilongwe shall, on the said day, be strictly by invitation to avoid pandemonium.
“The presence of the general public within 150 metres from the perimeter fence of the court premises, will not be allowed,” Patemba says in a public statement.
She said except for court staff, the petitioners, their lawyers, lawyers for President Peter Mutharika, those for the Malawi Electoral Commission, Malawi Law Society, Women Lawyers Association and accredited media, all other people are expected to follow pronouncement of the ruling while in the comfort of their homes or workplaces.
“As was the case with the hearing of the matter, accredited public media will be allowed to broadcast live the pronouncement of the judgment. It is through those broadcasting that persons not eligible to enter the court premises on that day may follow proceedings,” she says.
Patemba has since appealed for calm now, during and after the ruling is made public on February 3rd 2020 and that since there will be losers of the case, people should remember the option of appeal in the Supreme Court and not resort to violence.
A notice of delivery of judgment of the matter has already been published and communicated to all parties involved; First petitioner Dr. Saulos Chilima, Second petitioner Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and First respondent Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and the Second respondent, the Malawi Electoral Commission-MEC.
"Take notice that the full Court shall deliver its Judgment in this matter on Monday the 3rd pf February, 2020 at 9.00 hours in the forenoon at Lilongwe District Registry of the High Court of Malawi," reads the notice signed for by Patemba.
Earlier on Wednesday last week, the court gave between January 27th and February 3rd as the specific period within which ruling would be made to dispel social media “misinformation that the verdict will be out January 27.
“We wish to communicate that judgment will not be delivered before 27th January because it is not ready. And again, the judgment shall not exceed 3rd February.
“We are coming public with this to dispel disinformation that is making rounds. Our judges are still working and will only be ready with the judgment between January 27th and 3rd February,” Patemba told Zodiak Online that time.
The five judges of the Constitutional Court heard the case for a total of 59 days.
The last to take to the witness box was Malawi Electoral Commission Head of ICT Muhabi Chisi, who was cross-examined by lawyers for Peter Mutharika.
President judge, Healy Potani, said the judges would make a determination based on evidence brought before the court and relevant laws.
He committed that the judges would not be influenced by external forces, including public opinion.