In a typical case of a Biblical Absalom, who died attempting to take what was not his, two of the four Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-sponsored Commissioners – Steve Duwa and Arthur Nanthuru, have been shown an unceremonious exit at the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) because of the sin committed by their fellow appointees – Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje.
Since June 2020 when President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera ascended to the Highest Office of the President through the court-sanctioned Fresh President Election on June 23, 2020, Mathanga and Kunje have been in a cat-and-mouse battle, with Chakwera refusing to approve their appointments.
The embattled Commissioners it was over when they successfully defended their appointments in the court of law.
Little did they know that the Tonse Alliance government lead partner, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), had tactfully challenged their legitimacy at the pollster by dragging Chakwera to court, challenging the presidency’s decision not to appoint all the three persons nominated by MCP for appointment as commissioners of the Commission by appointing only two when MCP was entitled to a representation of three commissioners, which it duly submitted.
And in what could literally be defined as ‘imfa siithawika’ in vernacular Chichewa language and ‘death is inescapable’ in English, the High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda not only quashed the appointment of Kunje and Mathanga as MEC Commissioners, but dismissed from employment other Commissioners from the erstwhile governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) – Retired Major Steve Duwa and Arthur Nanthuru.
On Wednesday, June 9, 2021, President Chakwera appointed new MEC Commissioners with none of the previous members featuring on the list.
DPP has nominated totally new faces in the name of the former Nsanje Central Constituency legislator,
, Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano, and Ms Caroline Mfune while MCP has re-nominated its Richard Chapweteka who was rejected by former President Peter Mutharika.
Duwa and Nanthuru could not be immediately reached for a comment on their unceremonious dismissal from MEC.