FACE-TO-FACE—Chakwera (right) talks to Times Exclusive host Wonder Msiska

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the main shareholder in Tonse government has been accused for illegally advising President Lazarus Chakwera on state affairs after taking reigns of power.

The accusation comes after President Chakwera admitted that he gets legal advise from Office of Attorney General (AG) whose occupant is Chikosa Silungwe.

But Chakwera chooses to ignore AG Silungwe’s legal advise preferring his MCP pundits who have personal interests than that of state.

Malawians on social media accuses MCP’s ill-fated cum legal cadres for misleading Chakwera with questionable decision including firing of two Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners; Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje.

“Chakwera is a president for all Malawians not MCP only. MCP gurus are misleading the president for making illegal decision,” Wayne Mussa Wyn M’ss alleges.Tsudiso Maseko echoes, ” Bad legal decision making has been coming from MCP legal advisors or parallel Attorney General”.

President Lazarus Chakwera has told Times Television’s ‘Times Exclusive’ program on Saturday, May 1, 2021 that he gets counsel from a wide range of appointed people including the Office of the Attorney General (AG) but that the final decision is his to make.

Chakwera was responding to questions on a range of issues, including that there seems to be unnecessary misunderstandings between his office and that of his AG Chikosa Silungwe following the leakage of his legal opinions on national issues.

Chakwera said the government machinery had its own way of working.

“People in different offices play the role of giving me their opinions [including] the AG, being the legal adviser to government. I take different pieces of advice from different people but others [the public] are of the view that when a piece of advice is not taken then the working relationship is bad.

“When one is given advice, they are at liberty to choose whether to take it or not. I take counsel from a lot of people but I also look at the public interest, the common Malawian. The AG knows the country’s laws and even the AG knows that the one who makes a decision is the President,” he said.

A few weeks ago, Chakwera fired two Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) commissioners Linda Kunje and Jean Mathanga on grounds that the Supreme Court of Appeal found them incompetent in how they handled the May 21 2019 Presidential Election.

On September 28 2020, the AG gave his legal opinion to the Office of the President and Cabinet, advising it not to fire Kunje and Mathanga.

The two commissioners dragged to court Chakwera and Mec for not offering them appointment letters, allowances, honoraria and related benefits dating back June 7 2020, when the Tonse Alliance-led administration took power from the Democratic Progressive Party.

However, following Chakwera’s decision, the AG advised Mec Chairperson Judge Chifundo Kachale to suspend the whole commission.

Apart from the issue of counsel which advisers offer, Chakwera has also addressed the question of his administration’s alleged delay in implementing some of the promises the Tonse Alliance made during campaign.

“We are laying our foundation and this is what is giving me hope that, having laid the foundation, things will change. Malawians need to know that things are changing and know that things are not as they were. I have driven so many things and we all know the start-off speed is not the same when the journey actually starts,” he said.

Chakwera added that the purported disunity in the Tonse Alliance-led administration was among supporters, indicating that the leaders understand each other.

“We agree on how we should move as an alliance but, at our supporters’ level, the unity is not there; that is why we are, time and again, rebuking these tendencies. As leaders, everything is going on well. The alliance has nine parties and, as such, all supporters from these parties ought to live in peace. My plea to Malawians is that Tonse Alliance should not just be for nine parties but rather the whole country. At party level, I delegate to talk to the relevant people,” he said.

In regards to delayed appointment of heads of parastatals, Chakwera said he appointed professionals who are handling the matter in a manner that would ensure all legal requirements were met.

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