Vice-President Saulos Chilima has returned to court Tuesday to press President Peter Mutharika to sack Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson, Jane Ansah and her fellow commissioners after Parliament, the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court of Appeal found them incompetent and their positions untenable.
Chilima has been accusing the head of the electoral body of misconduct and is backed by electoral stakeholders that Ansah should not preside over the fresh presidential elections.
The former corporate executive -turned-politician first asked Ansah that, having dismally failed to lead the commission and having returned the most fraudulent elections in the history of this nation, she should just resign ‘so that a capable person can lead the commission.’
But Ansah, a judge of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, has defiantly refused to step down.
Other commissioners, the Reverent Clifford Baloyi, the Reverend Killion Mgawi, Elvey Mtafu, Moffat Banda, Yahaya M’madi, Linda Kunje and Jean Mathanga. Have also refused to resign for their role in presiding over a flawed electoral process.
However, Commissioner Mary Nkosi has proceeded to leave pending expiry of her tenure next month.
Chilima took the matter to court in February but Judge Ruth Chinangwa had put the case on hold until the Supreme Court of Appeal judgement.
This month Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of the High Court sitting as the Constitutional Court which found Ansah and MEC incompetent.
Chilima’s legal team led by Dr Chikosa Silungwe assisted by Bright Theu have confirmed they are reactivating the case in the High Court for Ansah’s ouster.
Civil society grouping, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) where first to call for resignation of Ansah and have since indicated that they will join the case, according to their lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa.
On April 1 2020 MEC chief elections officer Sam Alfandika told Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee that the commission wrote President Peter Mutharika to consider hiring new commissioners as the current ones’ tenure is expiring on June 5.
Legal scholars have since asked Mutharika to enhance the credibility of the forthcoming fresh presidential election by replacing the rotten commissioners.
A professor of law at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, Garton Kamchedzera said it is in the best interest of Malawians for the President to appoint a new commission.
He said Ansah and her commissioner will “ prejudice elections” if they continue staying in office.
Section 75 (4) of the Constitution states that a member of the Electoral Commission may be removed from office by the President on the recommendation of the Public Appointments Committee on the grounds of incapacity or incompetence in the performance of the duties of that office.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :