State vice-president Saulos Chilima, who is also UTM Party president, has condemned what he calls “shameful position” taken by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government of attacking court judges.
Of late there has been different write-ups in different blogs and social media by operatives of the DPP attacking the judiciary especially a panel of five –judges in the Constitutional Court who nulled last year’s presidential elections and called for a new ballot within 150 days.
Also facing attacks is High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda who granted the injunction to two citizens Esther Kathumba and Monica Chang’anamuno, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and the Church and Society Programme of the Livingstonia stopping government from effecting the shutdown.
Chilima in his televised national address on Sunday evening said he “categorically reject” the “shameful” position by government in making “gratuitous attacks” on the judges for “merely doing what the Constitution and their oath of office require them to do; that is to interpret the law of the land.”
Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale, who was representing the defendants, President Peter Mutharika, Ministry of Health, Inspector General of Police and the Commander in Chief of the Malawi Defence Force, on Friday filed to the courts that the defendants would not challenge the lockdown injunction.
By not contesting the injunction, government was playing its card that should the virus take its toll on Malawians, they would sit back and blame the judge as Covidiot.
But Chilima said the Executive cannot start calling the Judges names or indeed make childish statements that they shall leave the management of the crisis to the Judiciary.
Chilima demanded that the fight for Covid-19 should be done within the Constitution and other governing laws.
“Other countries have come up with regulations too. But they made sure that they follow the law in doing so. If you think you are unable to follow our Constitution and all our laws in dealing with crisis, simply resign and go home. Others shall take over and get this job done.
“Nobody paid you to be sulking and we shall not join the sulk challenge regardless which office makes such a shameless suggestion directly or otherwise,” said Chilima.
Chilima said it is deceitful and dangerous suggestions from government proponents that laws should be disregarded or suspended when fighting a pandemic like Covid-19.
“The Constitution is not only our guiding light, but also it protects us all from the worst impulses of those who exercise power. There is no greater need to guard against the abuse of power than in times of emergences primarily because autocrats usually use emergencies to allocate themselves powers,” he said.
He said diverting from the rule of law is a recipe for those in authority to abuse power or settle political scores.
“We should be on guard as not to allow the Covid-19 pandemic to be used as an excuse to violate the Constitution and the rights of our people,” warned Chilima.
He suggested that Parliament be summoned so that it deliberates legislation to fight the pandemic and use of resources.
Chilima also said looking at the statement released by Malawi Law Society, It is clear that Covid-19 fight has proceeded on acts of illegality.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :