Public Affairs Committee (Pac) and President Peter Mutharika spent Wednesday’s afternoon pointing fingers at each other over the fight against Covid-19 and the future of the fresh presidential election.
Pac Board Chairperson Monsignor Patrick Thawale challenged Mutharika to operate within the laws of Malawi as he leads the fight against the pandemic.
Monsignor Thawale said the fight against Covid-19 is both legal and political and the President must be within the law to avoid legal challenges.
“Covid-19 is real and we must all unite in the fight against the pandemic but we would like to suggest that you follow the legal framework of the country to avoid legal challenges against the fight,” he said.
Thawale’s remarks come after High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda sustained a court order against a lockdown the government had announced to fight the pandemic.
On the fresh presidential election, Thawale challenged Mutharika to clear all obstacles for smooth management of the election, saying it is likely that the Covid-19 pandemic will have a bearing on the poll.
“We are worried about the mandate of the presidency if the 150 days which the court gave expire without the election being held. Any delay in the election in the face of Covid-19 is likely to be politicised if it is announced without proper consultation,” he said.
But Mutharika also faulted the committee for remaining silent when some people turned to the streets protesting against how Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) had managed the now-nullified May 21 presidential election.
Mutharika demanded assurances from Pac that losers in the fresh poll will accept the results and that in the event that others go to court, justice will prevail.
“Although everyone committed to accept results of the elections, some people resorted to violence after losing the elections. Some people went to court and there is a section of the society which believes that the Constitutional Court’s judgement on the matter was a miscarriage of justice,” he said.
Mutharika also maintained that he does not see anything wrong with how Mec managed last year’s elections.