The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), which sued former President Joyce Banda over maize distribution, says it is up for the court to proceed with judicial review on the matter or not.

MHRC’s involvement was only to move the court on the matter and “not to push for legal proceedings”, according to Ambassador Sophie Kalinde, the Commission’s Chairperson.

“Its up for the court to proceed or not. We did our part by applying for judicial review on the matter, and anything beyond this, is not our domain,” said Kalinde.  

Prior to May 20 tripartite elections, the Commission applied for judicial review against the state and Banda on the matter.

The human rights body wanted the court to stop the former Malawi leader from personally distributing public maize during campaign rallies.

The Commission was also seeking an order for Banda to pay money to government equivalent to the maize she distributed through her People’s Party (PP).

MHRC argued that Banda’s actions were illegal, unconstitutional and unreasonable.

“We want a declaration that the decision of the respondent (Banda) to distribute maize at political or development rallies violates the right to equality of opportunity in access to food, the right to human dignity and the right to information,” reads court documents.

Asked what would be next course of action on the matter, Kalinde reiterated “we cannot push the court…..we just moved the judiciary, and the onus is on the court.”

The High Court is yet allow the application, according to sources privy to the matter.

Effort to get hold of High Court Registrar and Judiciary spokesperson proved futile as their mobile numbers could not be reached.

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