Five High Court judges who were sitting on the landmark election case as the Constitutional Court are now incommunicado as they have gone into hiding to prepare for the ruling.
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Reyneck Matemba said Tuesday at a news conference in Lilongwe that the bureau speeded up the meeting with one of the judges on December 28 2019 because they were preparing to go into hibernation for the judgement.
“They are at a very secretive place. They are incommunicado because they do not want such things as the bribes,” said Matemba.
He did not say whether the judges are writing the judgement in the country or not.
This comes at a time when the judges say they rebuffed a bribe from what Matemba described as a senior public officer and a person who works for the private sector.
Matemba however refused to disclose how much the bribe was.
However he said the issue came to surface when one of the judges called two of the judges to find out if they had received the bribe which he had sent.
In the case, UTM Party’s Saulos Chilima. is the first petitioner while Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera is the second petitioner. President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), by virtue of being the declared winner, is the first respondent with Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) as the second respondent.
Matemba said the attempted bribery will not have an impact on the case as the five judges—Healey Potani, Ivy Kamanga, Redson Kapindu, Dingiswayo Madise and Mike Tembo— as they will make determinations based on the facts of the law and evidence tendered.
Danwood Chirwa, a law professor at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, said the Judiciary should be left to deliberate on the elections case freely and without distractions, saying he was certain that both the High Court of Malawi and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal will decide the case based only on the facts and the law.
The judges completed hearing the landmark case on December 20 2019. They indicated they would deliver their judgement within a maximum of 45 days from the last hearing date.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :