MCP joins Linda Kunje, Jean Mathanga case
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has asked the High Court to include it among defendants in a case between two Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) commissioners and the Malawi Government.
The commissioners, Linda Kunje and Jean Mathanga, asked the High Court to order the government to give following President Lazarus Chakwera’s refusal to send letters of appointment to the two on grounds that they were found to be incompetent by the Supreme Court of Appeal in the management of the May 21 2019 presidential election. them appointment letters
However, former president Peter Mutharika reappointed the two, dismissing Public Appointments Committee of Parliament’s recommendation that he disciplines the commissioners.
Kunje and Mathanga are among the commissioners that managed the world acclaimed June 23 2020 fresh presidential election that saw a change of hands at the State House, as Chakwera won the election at the expense of Mutharika.
In an application dated March 11 2021, courtesy of arguments made by the party’s general secretary Elsenhower Mkaka, MCP asks that it be included on the list of defendants.
Mkaka confirmed to The Daily Times that, as a stakeholder in the matter, his party wanted to be part of the court proceedings.
“We, Malawi Congress Party, have applied to be added as part of the case because we believe we are important stakeholders. You cannot talk of elections without political parties; and, when talking of the appointment of commissioners, the Act says the President shall do so in consultation with political parties. We noted the anomaly when they were appointed. According to the law, only two parties applied – the MCP and DPP [Democratic Progressive Party]— [and] were supposed to choose three commissioners each.
“But the DPP had four appointed in their name while MCP only had two. We want the court to address these issues when hearing the case. There was correspondence between the former head of State and myself as secretary general of MCP, in which he was consulting me as to who should be appointed as commissioner. We submitted names but, to our shock and surprise, we only saw two names being appointed,” he said.
The arguments made by Mkaka have been backed by an application without notice for an order, asking that MCP be a third defendant in the proceedings.
The first and second defendants are Electoral Commission and the Attorney General, respectively.
A separate court document, titled ‘Intended Third Defendant’s Supplementary Skeleton Arguments in Support of Application to Be Added as Third Defendant’, which the party’s lawyers have issued to the High Court, backs Mkaka’s arguments.
“In light of the arguments, it is submitted that this is a proper case in which the court ought to exercise its discretion to add the applicant as a third defendant to these proceedings in order to effectually and completely adjudicate upon and settle all questions in the cause or matter,” the document reads.
The court is yet to make its determination on whether MCP should be added as a third defendant to the case.