“For the principle of Separation of Powers to work in our democracy in Malawi, all institutions and individuals alike need to respect the rule of law… … There is no room for any of the three branches of government to believe that it is superior to the other and therefore cannot be censured by the law.” – IFES , Separation of Powers in a Constitutional Democracy, 2003
The Democratic Progressive Party this week pulled another rabbit out of their hat, in their relentless effort to hold onto power. As the landmark decision of February 3, 2020, continues to receive commendations from around the world. The DPP, along with the Malawi Electoral Commission has appealed the ConCourt decision that annulled the May 2019 Presidential elections result that declared Peter Mutharika winner.
Topping the appeal, members of the party held a march led by DPP strong-arm Henry Mussa who read the petition at the Blantyre City Council. Our eyebrows reached high heaven as the former cabinet minister reported that his party demands investigation of the five judges.
To the former minister, this would apparently “remove any perception that it is either sympathizer of opposition politics or that it worked and succumbed to pressure from violent demos.”
Monitoring social media reactions, Gipson Potpher Kautale agreed with the position, citing that the justices must be investigated because they introduced some issues which were not in the court case.
I selected five top strong reactions to Mussa and his cohorts march against the judges.
Maggie Chirwa gives three-point advice on how the politicians can win her, and Malawian’s votes. She states that the politician must stop thinking about themselves; they should think about Malawi’s goal and how it connects with one’s party. This can then be followed by strategies and tactics for achieving the goals.
A big question for the DPP was posed by Elton WT Nankwere who wondered why the DPP had changed from its pre-decision stance that it would accept the ConCourt ruling.
Kingsley Mulekano could not hold his laughter at the former MP, an apparent reference to the fact that the former MP is on record to have petitioned the courts to include the MPs in the fresh elections. He found it ironic that two weeks later Mussa is leading demonstrations to have the ConCourt judgment over-turned.
It would be a travesty of justice if the bribing of the justices was omitted from the discourse, and Temwa Shorty Chirambo asks the DPP to bring something tangible to the table. She outlines the attempted bribery the party made to the justices. She counters by stating that the DPP appears to be upset that the justices refused the bribe, causing the DPP’s anger. She calls for Malawi to clean its systems without looking at the party colors.
Herbert Chitseko makes a before and after analysis of DPP duplicity that called for acceptance of the court ruling and remains peaceful and demonstrations are bad; blah, blah, blah! He charges that the DPP has appealed to the Supreme Court and is busy demonstrating against the judges’ decision. He ends his intervention with the mother of all rhetorical questions: “Maybe the ‘let’s accept the court’s ruling’ was for other people and not yourselves? You are a confused party.”
“Be like Kamuzu, the perfect gentleman. He accepted the results gracefully and stepped down, dignity intact. But the power-hungry thieves nowadays don’t want to let go of the seat. We have a right to vote for who we want to rule us, stop being greedy, selfish, and stealing votes. We do not want to be ruled by someone we do not want.
in his paper titled “The Fundamental Values of the Republic of Malawi Constitution, Dr. Msaiwale Chigawa at Review of the Constitution 28 – 31 March 2006 presented that
on 6th July 1966, a new Republican Constitution came into force that while it retained the three organs of the state – the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary, the main theme that runs throughout this constitution is that of strong executive authority that is vested in the president.
The Judiciary was completely subordinate to the executive. This changed when Malawi adopted the new Constitution on 17 May 1995 as the Malawi National Assembly adopted a democratic constitution.
Chigawa went on to advanced that the value of supremacy of the constitution, no single person or organ of the state is above the law.
All are equal and bound by the same law. Other values include those of the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, transparency and accountability by state officials and periodic and genuine elections.”
The notion that a political party operative, with all the appearances of representing the executive branch of government has the audacity to orchestrate a demonstration against and questions, bringing into disrepute a decision of the Court is absurd, ridiculous, and unprincipled.