The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has demanded that President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera and Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC) Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi should be held personally liable for the legal costs in the case in which the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Commissioners Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje were challenging rescission of their appointment.
The High Court of Malawi has ordered the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) to reinstate the two commissioners and pay both their honorarium as well as the legal costs.
It is on the payment of the legal cost that CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa feels is inappropriate and unfair on the tax-burdened Malawians who will now have to shoulder the bill and therefore Chakwera and his Secretary should take up this tab.
Namiwa, in a statement issued on Saturday, requested the legal counsel for Mathanga and Kunje to consider moving the courts to slap President Chakwera and SPC Chikhosi with the legal costs in their personal capacities for allegedly wantonly disregarding the rule of law, and in direct defiance of legal advice from the Attorney General (AG).
“This in fact is enough ground for impeachment!” declared Namiwa.
Namiwa, the former press secretary for former President Peter Mutharika, feels vindicated considering the organisation’s two previous petitions of December 18, 2020 and January 19, 2021 where it asked the President and the SPC to act on the Attorney General’s legal opinion to give the two MEC Commissioners their appointment letters.
Namiwa adds that having noticed the total disregard of the two petitions, his organization formally wrote President Chakwera on February 13, 2021, challenging him that his decision to ignore the AG’s legal opinion could be construed as political victimization, coupled with his nepotistic tendency and dislike for the people from the Southern Region.
He said in the same letter, the human rights watchdog warned President Chakwera and Chikhosi that CDEDI and all well-meaning Malawians would hold them personally liable in the event that the two MEC Commissioners decided to take the government to court for unfair dismissal.
“It is for this reason that we are appealing to the legal team representing the two commissioners to move the courts to ensure that the poor and marginalized taxpayers should not pay for Chakwera’s growing disrespect for the rule of law and, and the Republic Constitution,” he said.
After all, he added a good precedent was already set, where the country’s former President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika, and the former SPC Lloyd Muhara, were recently personally held liable for similar decisions they made while they were in office.
CDEDI says before assuming the high office of the presidency, Chakwera took an oath to protect the constitution without fear or favour.
“CDEDI therefore, will not hesitate to mobilize Malawians to stand up against Chakwera’s total disrespect for the rule of law, selective application of justice and attempts to take back the country to dictatorship,” says Namiwa in his statement.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :