Five High Court judges who have been assigned to hear the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s presidential election case are scheduled to meet for a conference on September 14, the Judiciary has confirmed.
The five-judge panel has Sylvester Kalembera as judge president, Rowland Mbvundula Dorothy NyaKaunda Kamanga, Annabel Mtalimanja and Thom Ligowe.
The erstwhile ruling party is seeking nullification of the June 23 2020 presidential election. On August 25 this year, Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda certified the matter as constitutional.
High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Registrar Gladys Gondwe told The Daily Times yesterday that the judges met on Monday, when they determined that they and parties involved should meet in Blantyre, at the office of the Principal Registrar of the High Court.
“This is where the court will give directions to the parties on further conduct of the matter,” she said
Gondwe said the entire case would be handled in the commercial city, where the matter was registered.
DPP applied for nullification of the presidency of Lazarus Chakwera and his vice Saulos Chilima after, in May this year, the High Court declared that four commissioners of the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec)— who were part of certifying the results— were not duly appointed by former president Peter Mutharika.
Meanwhile, DPP legal representative Charles Mhango has said they are yet to get the communication but added that they were happy that the matter was making progress.
“We do not have any official communication. But, if that is the case, we will attend the conference and we are prepared for any direction the judges will give,” he said
The former president had appointed Jean Mathanga, Linda Kunje, Steve Duwa and Arthur Nanthuru to be part of Mec despite that the law called for three names each from DPP and Malawi Congress Party.
Mutharika also ignored recommendations of the then Public Appointments Committee of Parliament members to discipline Kunje and Mathanga and went ahead to re-appoint them.
Five months ago, Chakwera fired Kunje and Mathanga from their positions and the DPP claims that, by extension, this means the June 23 2020 presidential election results were ‘illegally’ approved, hence the need to nullify them.