In an ideal situation, Members of Parliament (MPs) are supposed to be in the forefront safeguarding the laws of the land, the very ones they spend their time and effort enacting when they meet in Parliament.
It is in the same spirit that one would expect legislators to push with all their might for the strict observance and respect of jurisdiction of the three arms of government, which are the executive, legislature and judiciary.
We are, therefore, surprised by the conduct of some United Democratic Front (UDF) MPs who, in their meeting with President Peter Mutharika, are said to have asked the president to use his influence so that the judiciary should expedite a corruption case which the country’s former president Bakili Muluzi has been answering for the past 12 years.
We find nothing wrong with the legislators asking the president to explain his government’s interest but we certainly are not amused with their attempts to have the executive arm of the government, through Mutharika, interfere with the judiciary with a view of expediting Muluzi’s case.
This is downright unacceptable and just like the Malawi Law Society has observed, if entertained it would undermine the long standing tradition of separation of powers in the government set-up.
If they want, the UDF MPs should take up the matter with the judiciary themselves as opposed to having the whole head of state do the bidding on their behalf and in the process, attempt to circumvert the course of justice.
It is a known fact that the former president retired long ago from active politics and deserves to be spending the rest of his days enjoying his retirement, away from public limelight. But if he is to do that with a clear conscience, then it is important for him to clear all the cobwebs emanating from his days when he was the head of state, such as the corruption case he is answering.
We do sympathise with Muluzi who has over the years had health related problems but what needs to be borne in mind is that the law knows no segregation; everyone is equal before it and has to be held answerable.
The UDF MPs and indeed the government should let justice run its course in the Muluzi corruption case until such a time the judiciary decides to approach them for their input. Tampering with the justice system would set a bad precedence.
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