David Phiri a legal expert based in Geneva wrote ConCourt Judges were guilty of judicial overreach, even Though the question was not brought before them, the panel of five high court judges who sat to constitute a Constitutional Court took it upon themselves to debate and rule upon the meaning of ‘majority’ as it relates to electoral victory. They insisted that ‘majority’ means a candidate must win 50%+1 of the votes.

These high court judges inexplicably disregarded the fact that the 50+1 debate was settled at the Constitutional Conference of February 1995 where many framers of the Constitution participated – and decided emphatically that the word “majority” in Section 80(2) of the Constitution means “first past the post system.” Then in 2000, the High Court and Supreme Court rulings in the Gwanda Chakuamba challenge also stated that Section 80(2) means “first past the post.”

ConCourt Judges
Cowardly justices Healey Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Ivy Kamanga and Redson Kapindu

David Phiri further amplified that ConCourt Judges’ reasoning was questionable, In the same vein of judicial arrogance, these five Judges opined that Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) should not have delegated their judicial function of resolving electoral disputes. There are 5002 Polling Centres throughout the country from where most, if not all, electoral disputes are generated and must be resolved. In standard practice, this has mostly been done by Presiding Officers, who represent MEC at these Polling sites. It is unreasonable, not to mention absurd, to rule that nine Commissioners must personally resolve disputes whenever they occur at these 5002 Polling Centres.

The petitioners who brought the claim that Constituency Tally Centres (CTC) were used to rig the election, left out the crucial fact that they themselves, along with civil society, had lobbied for such centres in 2017.

 Therefore, the CTC was created by all stakeholders who included MEC, Political Parties, Security agents, Observers, NGOs, etc. These CTCs were an administrative innovation intended to complement the District Tally Centres (DTCs), which had never been replaced.

However, in his first public appearance, Former Malawi President Peter Mutharika who was upbeat said, He spoke of how he promised not to leave the democratic progressive party (DPP) at Ndata on 23 April 2012 at his brother’s funeral. He  assured that he is not clinging to the Presidency but will not leave now until a successor is elected at a convention, not but self-promoting politicians hungry for power.

Peter Mutharika joked about his retirement house being unfinished as he told journalists to look at the ongoing work because he has no cement. So where would the 5 billion Kwacha worth of cement have gone, he wondered?

The former President commented on the arrests of Mzomera and Uladi; saying these are good people. They made mistakes.

The Malawi Former President  On revelations of corruption to have happened under his administration; corruption is everywhere. The only problem is that in a poor country like Malawi the effects are more apparent. He never condoned it and is happy the new government is fighting it.

Malawi Former President Mutharika,  on how he rates the Chakwera government so far. He said cannot rate as he has not seen much apart from them opening his projects. He said the golden peacock opened today was something he personally negotiated. However, he said was willing to give the government more time.

Peter Mutharika  On whether he has spoken with Lazarus Chakwera & his relationship with him. He declined to answer saying for the sake of privacy he chose to withhold his comments.

Peter Mutharika,  on his vision for infrastructure; he had intended for an overpass in Blantyre  from Clock tower through Victoria Avenue and back to ease traffic.

He was strong on the court mandated fresh election; Calling them a farce and said he accepted the faulty ruling because Malawi is bigger than him.

Peter Mutharika, On the new government; he has wished them luck. Saying it is not an easy job. He will not be doing anything to antagonize them.

Despite it all, Peter Mutharika looked sharp and rejuvenated. He even made jokes. He said of the  presence of an MBC reporter- bola asakuchoseni kuti ma cadet.

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