By Patience Abeck
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-A respected legal guru has said if UTM Party President and past immediate Vice President Saulos Chilima had not contested the May 21 presidential elections and left it to the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the case would have ‘tumbled’ by now.
The legal guru who did not want to be named said according to facts and preparations of the case, Chilima and his legal team are more organized than MCP President Lazarus Chakwera and his team.
Initially, the two leaders filed their cases against the presidential results of the May 21 elections which declared President Peter Mutharika winner, separately until the courts combined the cases into one.
“From the start of this case I have observed that MCP and its legal team are indecisive and it looks like they did not prepare well for the case. All those technical issues that lawyers for Mutharika wanted to use to throw out the case earlier were as a result of MCP lawyers not doing a thorough job.”
“And in the middle of the case, MCP issues a very irresponsible statement about beating up Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) officials and the Judges have even condemned this statement. It is things like these that can make the case crumble. If it weren’t for Chilima and his legal team, this case would have crumbled.”
“Look, MCP has been contesting the presidential elections results since 1999 and mostly the cases have been thrown out because of technical incompetence on the part of their lawyers. If you can recall, this is the only legal challenge that has attracted public interest and I can say without fear of contradiction that had Chilima not joined this case, we would not be talking of an elections case challenge in the courts today,” he said.
“Do not get me wrong, I not am supporting Chilima over Chakwera but as a legal scholar and practitioner I am analyzing this case so that next time, lawyers should prepare well and advise their clients accordingly. We do not want a situation where lawyers pocket hefty amounts of legal fees after winning or losing on a technicality when we still have real issues unresolved,” added the legal mind.
“So in my analysis, MCP should have done better considering they have been on this path before in the past. We need justice and to achieve that we need to thoroughly prepare to present cases that will resolve disputes by following and interpreting what the law says.”
“So this elections case has been saved by Chilima and his legal team, the court cannot punish him because of mistakes of others and that is why this case is still alive up to now,” he said.
The legal guru refused to say how the case will be decided.
“We have not even heard any single testimony and you want me to say who will win the case? Let us wait and see when the case starts but I hope the legal teams will prepare well because this case will be a defining moment for the future of this country,” he said.
Chilima and Chakwera are contesting the results of the irregularities-infested May 21 presidential elections which declared Mutharika winner with 38% followed by Chakwera’s 35% and Chilima’s 20% of the vote.
There have been protests by Malawians calling for the resignation of beleaguered MEC Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah on her handling of the elections especially the voter counting management.