Malawians should take exception and express their discontent at what appears to be the establishment, by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson, Justice Dr. Jane Ansah, of a parallel court through the media outlet Zodiak and its platforms.
This was on Tuesday June 25, 2019 where the MEC Chair was granted an hour-long interview to discuss the on-going May 21, 2019 Elections Case that is being heard by a panel of five justices of the Constitutional Court.
There is no one at the Maravi Post that is versed in matters concerning the laws of Malawi, however, we find this recent act by the MEC Chair to be an attempt to influence the court, defeat justice, and possibly mislead ordinary Malawians.
Former Dean in the Law Department of Chancellor College, Professor Garton Kamchedzera, in his five-point summation in a recorded radio interview, that highlights that the MEC Chair was not supposed to have spoken in the radio interview.
The interview was beamed on in various outlets including the social media platforms. Justice Ansah should not have spoken as outlined by Professor Kamchedzera, because:
*She may be called to testify, since the MEC is one of the respondents;
*The MEC Chair is a Judge;
*As Chair, she is leading the organization that is challenging the elements of the case that she minutely highlights in the interview;
*Going to the media,
MEC Chair has gone against the law if she is likely to appear as a witness in the case; and that even if she were an ordinary person, the fact that she pinpoints on the issue of using Tippex during elections tally sheets, it is as if she is telling the court and Malawians that this is not wrong; and
*Lastly since the MEC Chair is a Judge who follows a just and fair law system, she greatly erred because while she had the one-hour to speak on this crucial matter, her opponents were not given the opportunity to respond.
These are great points brought by the former Dean of the Chancellor College Law Department. The Maravi Post absolutely agrees with him.
One might ask, how would or should the Panel of Constitutional Court Justices respond to these errors, because surely they either listened to or read about the interview? Do the Malawi courts have such things as contempt of court or gag/censorship orders? These could be applied on the MEC Chair following the interview.
The May 21 2019 Elections Case is as live as a connected electric wire, or an about to detonate bomb. Since the announce the of the Presidential winner on May 28, 2019, Malawians countrywide have poured onto streets in protest of the result.
We at the Maravi Post acknowledge and appreciate that Malawi has the freedom of speech in its Bill of Rights.
However, while underscoring this as an important part of our Constitutional right, nonetheless, there are certain positions where exercising this provision to the fullest in the manner exercised by the MEC Chair, is folly, lacking in counsel and wisdom, and an abuse of the Justice’s power of her office.
The matter is before the courts, giving her opinion in a live interview or any form, is a gross judgment call as this is an unfair influence of the public’s opinion and that of the justices that are yet to make a decision in a case where as MEC Chair.
The Maravi Post underscores that there 147 cases of alleged fraudulent activities in the May 21, 2019 Elections Case that is before the Constitutional Court, the Malawi people have a right to the court’s unhampered interpretation of what took place, decision on the way forward for the nation.
In our just and fair democratic culture, there is no one, and there should be no one, that stands in the way of justice to prevail by creating parallel court structures.
Let our democracy reign, let our democracy shine!