Legal Expert Warns Case Withdrawal May Inspire Unlawfulness
A legal expert has cautioned that withdraw of a case against reappointment of two Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners by Malawi Congress Party leader Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has the potential to encourage illegality in future appointments of MEC commissioners.
Zomba based Chancellor College law professor Edge Kanyongolo told Zodiak Online that if not resolved, the issue, may give leaders the impression that they can get away with breaking the law on appointment of MEC commissioners.
“…It may encourage unlawfulness because MCP was arguing that there was illegality in the appointment, so if that is not corrected then maybe in future people will not be deterred from acting illegally.”
Nonetheless, Professor Kanyongolo was quick to say “but I can understand the reasons why the case was withdrawn in the circumstances that it might have just disrupted a very important event of national importance.”
MEC Chairperson Justice Dr. Chifundo Kachale told journalists in Blantyre on Wednesday that he felt relieved that the MCP President had decided to withdraw the case against the commissioners adding this would allow the commissioners execute duties without problems.
In an interview with Zodiak Online, MCP Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka confirmed that Dr. Chakwera has withdrawn the case because he is impressed with the professional conduct of MEC leadership and does not want to stress it.
“The MEC chairperson has demonstrated independence and professionalism, the withdraw though does not indicate Dr. Chakwera agrees with the manner in which the commissioners were appointed.”
The reappointment of the two MEC commissioners: Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje by President Peter Mutharika did not amuse opposition political parties and other Civil Society Organizations, who stood against the past Commission.
The disgruntled parties wondered why the two were reappointed, despite being declared incompetent by the constitutional court and Parliament.
In the withdrawn case, Dr. Chakwera also wanted the court to review why President Mutharika appointed four MEC commissioners from governing Democratic Progressive Party against two from his party.
The previous MEC, whose chairperson Justice Dr. Jane Ansah resigned amid rising pressure for her to step aside, has been widely criticized for presiding over a fraudulent election on May 21, 2019.