Call for Malawi Law Society president to step aside from election matters over credibility concerns

A governance expert Makhumbo Munthali has called on president of Malawi Law Society (MLS) Burton Mhango to step aside from election case and matters arising, saying MLS is facing collateral damage by virtue of him being a brother to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legal advisor Charles Mhango.

Makhumbo: Credibility concerns

Munthali told Nyasa Times in an interview that: “While Malawi Law Society president is a brilliant and professional gentleman the very fact that he is related to DPP legal advisor may raise credibility concerns of Law Society and conflict of interest.”

The governance commentator said Mhango should step aside from the election case and let his vice or other executive member lead.

“While there is no indication of any inappropriate action, Malawi Law Society should lead by example to avoid any suggestion of collusion or conflict of interest.

“The election case is a sensitive one and public perceptions matter in this. It would do him more good as well as the MLS for him to step aside from the case,” said Munthali.

Munthali clarified: “I am not saying he should resign but rather only step aside from the case based on his relation to DPP legal advisor and the principle of conflict of interest.”

Further, Munthali said MLS president should also step aside on all post-election related matters.

“Otherwise, MLS is in my view currently struggling with public trust issues on post-election matters largely because it’s president is a brother to DPP director of legal affairs.

“And as such any statement or intervention from Law Society on the post-election crisis is largely viewed by the public not based on merits or demerits but rather with suspicion of the president being a brother to DPP legal affairs director.”

Munthali pointed out that the danger is that Burton may be a victim of circumstances in this highly sensitive issue, and the earlier he steps aside on the issue the better

“He has a legacy and reputation to protect,” he said.

MLS recently issued a letter which has painted a gloomy picture of the country’s economy due to the political impasse following the announcement of the May 21 Tripartite Election results.

The Law Society said its position is based on the fact that Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah is refusing to resign.

UTM Party and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are disputing the May 21 presidential election results while Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) is continuing with demonstrations until MEC chairperson Ansah resigns for allegedly mismanaging the results.

Last month, MLS issued another letter, urging political parties, including President Peter Mutharika, to prepare their followers for the outcome of the case which may go either way.

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braveheart
Guest

uR exposed kape iwe!

Mbwiye
Guest
Mbwiye

Iwe munthali you are stupid. Kodi nanuso a nyasa times munamutola kuti uyu? He is very stupid.

Chirima
Guest
Chirima

Mr Munthali is a die hard MCP cadet, we cannot trust you either because your brother too is a member of MCP!

Favour of Yahweh
Guest

Yes,he is a brother to Maurice Munthali.

Chirima
Guest
Chirima

Mr Munthali also appears to be an MCP cadet, we cannot trust you as you are always biased . Munady chibhanzi chaChakwera inu

Samuel
Guest
Samuel

Makhumbo Munthali should be the first to stay away from commenting on the electoral matters as you are as well related to Reverend Maurice Munthali who is the secretary general of MCP. Mwambi walero ndi uwu: “ukakhala nyumba yamagalasi osagenda miyala”.

Revolutionary
Guest

Makhumbo Maurice Munthali, son to Rev Maurice Munthali stop speaking that Burton is a kinsman to Lawyer Charles Mhango…your father is MCP publicity secretary and your expert judgement is biased towards MCP

Favour of Yahweh
Guest

This man is a utm supporter . Should we ask him to stop giving his opinions on politics because he will be favouring utm.? Mhango is independent , he can choose which party to support, but that can prevent him to hold a public office or chair an organisation. The organisation had trust in him. Why can’t you ask Mtambo and a Trapence to resign because they are opposition sympathisers too and not independent. You don’t criticise them because they tow the same line which you are towing too. I don’t see anything change in you as you are not… Read more »

Mr Truth Pains
Guest

Burton Mhango is another Cadet planted in Malawi Law Society so the best thing for him is not to step aside from all matters of political in nature but for him to resign as a president.

I rest my case.

Revolutionary
Guest

Iweyonso makhumbo munthali you are son to Maurice Munthali the Reverend and MCP publicity secretary your opinions and judgement often favors MCP, step aside from commenting on MCP petition to annul elections…. don’t remove a speck from your brothers eye…..

Pamunyelo
Guest
Pamunyelo

Its a grouping of unmatured ,inexperienced young lawyers who are researching way of Malawian lives.we have judges and two sets of lawyers in the court ndiye away?