The Judiciary has directed Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) to make a formal application if they want to be represented by South African lawyers in the appeal case at the Supreme Court.
Mec hired South African lawyers, Mboweni Maluleke Inc Attorneys, to represent the commission in their appeal against the Constitutional Court order calling for fresh presidential election within 150 days from February 3 2020 when the judgement was delivered.
But Registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court, Agnes Patemba, yesterday said the court has directed that Mec applies formally for the court to allow the lawyers to practice in the country.
“He [The Chief Justice] has given directions that Mec should file a proper application with the court and once filed, we will set it down for a hearing. For now, we are waiting for the application to be filed,” Patemba said. Addressing the media last week, Mec Chairperson, Justice Jane Ansah, said the commission has hired the South African lawyers to represent them following the Constitutional Court’s order stopping the Attorney General from representing Mec in the case.
Ansah said most local lawyers Mec approached turned them down and that the one who accepted to work with them would be available after April 2020.
Malawi Law Society then applied to the Chief Justice to allow the South African lawyers to practice in the country. Mec spokesperson, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, said the commission will make the application at an appropriate time.
“Mec will handle it at an appropriate time but I don’t have details about their [South African lawyers] whereabouts now,” he said.
Malawi Congress Party president Lazarus Chakwera and his UTM counterpart Saulos Chilima petitioned the Constitutional Court successfully to have the May 21 presidential poll nullified citing massive irregularities.