By Burnett Munthali
It is a 50-50 situation following the arrest of Malawi’s Vice President Dr Saulos Chilima in November 2022. Chilima risks impeachment anytime in the near future by Parliament. Chilima is aware of that The Vice President could strike back in a manner that nobody expects. Even the President knows that.
The major political partner of Tonse Alliance, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is setting a dragnet for the Vice President in order to create a clear way for President Reverend Chakwera. The impeachment is certainly coming sooner or later but it will also come as a surprise at a time many people do not expect it.
While the MCP is setting everything in place to bring down the VP, Saulos Chilima is quiet but also setting his plans to fight and hit back in a manner Malawians do not expect. Chilima will not go to prison quietly without fighting back. Expect a great Hiroshima bomb to drop from either side of both MCP and UTM.
This is definitely going yo be twist of the tiger’s tail. We may unfortunately see heavy casualties before, during or after this high profile corruption case. It is going to be a matter of life or death.
In 2009, Malawi human rights and civil society groups called for the impeachment of President Bingu Wa Mutharika. Previously, these groups had opposed the efforts by the United Democratic Front to remove Mutharika on allegations ranging from abuse of office to misuse of funds.
The group said impeaching the president would be a lasting solution to problems plaguing his administration. The government said others had tried before and failed.
At that time, the government of Malawi had experienced internal problems. The director of the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Gustave Kaliwo, was suspended by President Mutharika for arresting former president Bakili Muluzi, but later Kaliwo resigned. Later, the president publicly demanded that the director of public prosecutions, Ishmael Wadi, resign for discontinuing the case against Muluzi. Human rights and civil society groups said they were irritated by the president’s refusal to meet with Kaliwo and Wadi.
The program manager of the Blantyre Synod Church and Society, Billy Mayaya, reportedly said Mutharika had put himself up for impeachment. He said his institution would support the impeachment process in order to protect the laws of Malawi and independent institutions put in place by the Constitution.
CHAPTER VIII OF MALAWI CONSTITUTION
No person shall be eligible for nomination as a candidate for election as President or First Vice-President or for appointment as first Vice-President or Second Vice-President if that person-
has been adjudged or declared to be of unsound mind;
is an undischarged bankrupt having been declared bankrupt under a law of the Republic;
has, within the last seven years, been convicted by a competent court of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude;
It is a well-known fact that MCP government is busy perusing the constitution of Malawi to find befitting sections that could be used to impeach and ditch Dr Saulos Chilima completely out of the political game. The meetings are definitely taking place in the MCP camp in hidden places and unknown times while Saulos Chilima is also putting his cards together and play the joker.
If a federal official commits a crime or otherwise acts improperly, the House of Representatives may impeach—formally charge—that official. If the official subsequently is convicted in a Senate impeachment trial, he is removed from office.
Impeachment simply means to be charged with a crime or misconduct. specifically : to charge (a public official) before a competent tribunal with misconduct in office. Impeachment is the first step in removing an officer from office.
Article II, Section 4: The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from conviction of, treason, bribery high crimes and misdemeanors.
The Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to impeach an official, and it makes the Senate the sole court for impeachment trials. The power of impeachment is limited to removal from office but also provides a means by which a removed officer may be disqualified from holding future office.
The word “impeachment” likely derives from Old French empeechier from Latin word impedīre expressing the idea of catching or ensnaring by the ‘foot’ (pes, pedis), and has analogues in the modern French verb empêcher (to prevent) and the modern English impede.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are those of the author not necessarily of The Maravi Post or Editor