Justice Jane Ansah set for retirement
Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson and Justice of Appeal (JA) Jane Ansah is set to take leave pending retirement, sources within the judiciary have confirmed.
“Her leave days have accumulated to 530 so yes I can confirm that she will soon take leave pending retirement,” said a source within the judiciary on condition of anonymity.
Registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Agness Patemba asked for more time before commenting on the matter.
“The Judiciary is not commenting on this issue, call the honourable Justice herself, she will be able to divulge more information on the matter, but as of now The Judiciary is not commenting,” Patemba said later in an interview.
When contacted, Justice Ansah refused to shed more light on the matter.
“Wakuwuzani ndani, mufunseni yemwe wakuuzaniyo (who told you that? Ask the one who told you for more information),” Ansah said before cutting the line.
Justice Ansah was appointed High Court Judge in 1998.
She later served as Attorney General (AG) from 2006 to 2011 during late President Bingu Wa Mutharika’s tenure before being appointed as Supreme Court Judge in 2011.
In 2016 Ansah was appointed Mec chairperson, succeeding the late Justice Maxon Mbendera who presided over the May 2014 tripartite elections.
Justice Ansah has in recent times come under heavy criticism over the way her team of commissioners handled the May 21 Tripartite Elections, which some stakeholders say were marred with irregularities, including the use of correctional fluid also known as Tippex despite the Commission admitting it did not sanction its use.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has been demanding her resignation from office in nationwide demonstrations, which have in many instances turned violent.
But Ansah, whose tenure of office at Mec ends in October this year, maintains the elections were free and fair and that they were held in a transparent manner.
Her leave pending retirement comes as the constitutional court, which was hearing the presidential election results case, delivers judgement in the case on tommorrow
Eric Msikiti is a Senior Reporter/News Producer at Times Group. Though relatively young, Eric boasts years of experience in Malawi’s media industry.