UTM, MCP ready for appeal court battle


UTM and Malawi Congress Party (MCP), who were first and second respondents in the presidential election results case, have separately said they are ready to tussle again in court following applications of appeal that Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) and President Peter Mutharika have filed to the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal.

Mec, whose appeal submissions have 139 grounds, has applied to the High Court for suspension of enforcement of the Constitutional Court’s judgement that, among others, nullified the May 21 2019 presidential election for what it called widespread, systematic and grave irregularities.

The judiciary has since ordered that the hearing for the application for suspension of enforcement should take place Tuesday, February 11 2020 at 9 am.


Registrar of the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal, Agnes Patemba, Saturday said the hearing will be presided over by the same five High Court Judges who were handling the case.

MCP publicity secretary, Maurice Munthali, said they are fighting for democracy and they are ready to be in court again.

“We are ready and we are not just fighting. This is a fight for democracyand justice for Malawians,” he said.


In his reaction, UTM spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti Malunga, said the two sides are entitled to appeal and that, as UTM, they are ready to face the appellants again.

“I think the first reaction is what the president (Saulos Chilima) made during the press briefing in Lilongwe that as UTM, we are ready for it (appeal) if the other parties want to do so. So we are ready, it is their right to do so. The rest of the issues we leave it to our legal team on how the matter will be handled but we are ready,” he said.

While saying it is ready to hold fresh elections, the electoral body in its application to the court argues that it can only be in a position to hold fresh election on October 28, citing funding constraints and transport challenges that the body experienced during the May 21 2019 elections, saying they could still haunt them.

The Constitutional Court, in its ruling, ordered a fresh election in 150 days.

Mutharika lodged 18 grounds of appeal, among them that the court erred in law in holding that in the 2019 presidential election there was an undue election of him as President.

Mutharika, through his lawyer Frank Mbeta, further argues that the five judges erred in law in finding that in the return and election of Mutharika to the office of President, there were irregularities, without regard to the law on irregularities, among others.

The bench had judges Healey Potani as chairperson, Ivy Kamanga, Dingiswayo Madise, Redson Kapindu and Mike Tembo.

UTM leader and State Vice President Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party president Lazarus Chakwera had sought the court’s intervention on the outcome of the May 21 2019 presidential election, saying Mec had mismanaged the results which saw Mutharika being declared winner.

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