Written by King-Mwene Chale
First, In the much-heralded ruling that forced rerun and the ascendency to power of one Lazarus Chakwera, 50+1, was not the problem of the complainant. It was tippex and other irregularities. The 2019 Malawi presidential election was dubbed the ‘Tipp-Ex election’ on social media, referring to a brand of correction fluid, after ballot tally papers emerged with areas painted with the white liquid and written over, supposedly altering results.
The Constitutional Court cited “widespread, systematic and grave” irregularities when it annulled the vote that returned Mutharika to power.
Therefore, the introduction of 50+1 in the re-run elections was a gloss miscarriage of justice in Malawi to make sure DPP had no chance of winning based on the strength of their southern region support.
Second the re-run would have been legal and only fair if the candidates that contested in the nullified results were to contest again without any changes such as alliances connived to give one side an advantage. When alliances were tolerated in the re-run elections this did not reflect justice in true sense. It was an exhibit of corrupt practices and bias to the world at large in the judicial system.
Thirdly The electoral body doesn’t constitute only the Chairperson and the Commissioners. Therefore, if there were any Constituency tallies, these were agreed upon by the electoral body not Jane Ansah as the Chair. Therefore, if the whole body was found incompetent, then any act that would involve such an electoral body was to be regarded seriously and risking incredibility to the general public. In line with this thought, the continuity of the commissioners and other decision-making members in such a body tainted dark any oncoming activities which concerned them. So, the later elections were just ceremonial not officially.
“The conduct of the electoral commission left a lot to be desired,” Justice Frank Kapanda said showing his bias. “There was a lack of seriousness and incompetence.”
Fourth Some witnesses representing the complainants were not credible people because they were representing their parties. As a matter of fact, they needed the security personnel who were professional in handling corrupt matters to spice up their allegations with valid evidence. Therefore, by treating their evidence absolute, this was an error.
Fifth Deliberate ignoring the principles of justice during the electoral case should raise eyebrows to the human rights groups. In a nutshell, it is by a principle of justice that when the matter is in court none of the aggrieved nor the defendant should be found talking or provoking the other in relationship with the content that is in court. But we saw the complainants participating in the demonstrations touching the very same matter that was in court. Failure to act by the courts against them it’s a violation of human rights.
Sixth The courts had no rights to reprimand The Attorney General of that time who represented MEC. As a true Malawian he has rights to represent them.
Seventh Elections that were held by very few International Organizations should not reflect any genuine democracy. It was an error to conduct elections in that manner and with underlining difficulties.
Eighth Though the judgement was made but it focused on one side of the coin because the defendant also had some grievances which were just trashed. “Mutharika had always said the presidential election were free and fair, but the Constitutional Court said there just too many irregularities and some results were changed using typewriter or correction fluid.”
In his appeal, President Peter Mutharika rightly said the judges had “erred in law”.