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MCP revives Mec commissioners’ case

Eisenhower Mkaka

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has revived the case in which the party and its president Lazarus Chakwera challenged the manner in which former president Peter Mutharika appointed commissioners of the Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec).

This comes after the High Court sitting in Blantyre dismissed the party’s application to join the case where two Mec commissioners Linda Kunje and Jean Mathanga have sued the government demanding offer letters and benefits.

MCP lawyer Abison Chitukula said Justice Kenyatta Nyirenda granted MCP permission to revive the case.

“The permission has been granted; so, as it stands, the question of legality, or otherwise, of the appointment of the members of the commission is now front and centre and will be decided by the court,” he said.

Chitukula added that Chakwera was no longer one of the claimants this time around.

“We are suing the President of the Republic of Malawi; so, Dr Chakwera cannot be a claimant in the same case. We have therefore remained with one claimant, who is Malawi Congress Party.

“Our case was as a way of judicial review, so our expectation is that the case in Blantyre [involving Mathanga and Kunje] will be stayed pending conclusion of our case but that is the decision of the court,” he said.

Kunje and Mathanga, who have dragged the government to court, are among commissioners that managed the world acclaimed June 23 2020 fresh presidential election that gave Chakwera the ticket to the State House.

The two were also part of the commissioners that managed the much condemned May 21 2019 presidential election.

MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said the party believed that current commissioners were not appointed in accordance with the law, saying they have revived the matter after the High Court dismissed their application to join the Kunje and Mathanga case.

“As the lawyers indicated, we had two options, which were either to appeal or revive this case. We decided not to appeal the decision [because it is not] as if we are on collision [course] with courts. They made a decision and that’s it,” he said.

Mkaka dismissed suggestions that they were reviving the case simply out of malice for specific commissioners, having freely discontinued the case in the first place.

“It’s not malice. One of our pillars is following the rule of law and that is why we want the court to clarify if the appointment was in accordance with the law or not,” he said.

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