Constitutional Court chair Judge Healey Potani has implored for peace and calm in the country, saying parties in the disputed presidential case should prevent anarchy and uphold the rule of law.
Justice Potani speaking on behalf of a panel of High Court judges including Ivy Kamanga, Dingiswayo Madise, Mike Tembo and Redson Kapindu at the end of oral submissions by all parties to the case, appealed to all Malawians to accept and respect the court’s ruling.
Potani admitted that the case had brought novelty since its inception. All factors considered to this end, all parties to the case have expectations which need taming.
“The court has the evidence and submissions from the lawyers and also submissions from Friends of the Court. From the submissions, one gets the impression there are lot of grey areas in the application and interpretation of the various laws.
“It’s now in the hands of the court to carefully look at the evidence, evaluate it and make its final determination based on the evidence. All things being equal, the determination shall be made within the period stipulated by the law,” said Potani.
First petitioner Saulos Chilima and second petitioner Lazarus Chakwera are seeking a nullification of presidential results in the May 21 Tripartite General Elections.
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) declared President Peter Mutharika the winner in the elections which had seen Chilima and Chakwera among presidential contestants. Mutharika is the first respondent, while MEC is the second respondent in the case in which the petitioners allege that MEC mismanaged the elections in favour of Mutharika.
Potani stressed that the court’s determination will go “one way or the other.”
He said: “There will have to be a winner and a loser, in a sense… As such, it is important to have [your supporters] enlightened that law and order is paramount at the end of the day.”
He went further to reveal that the Constitutional Court is not the final arbiter in this case; saying disgruntled party has a right to appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal.
He cautioned against welcoming the court’s determination with violence, saying that will be undermining the law.
“Undermining the rule of law breeds lawlessness; lawlessness breeds anarchy. And what does anarchy lead to? Sadly, anarchy leads to a destruction of society,” he said.
The statements come hot on the heels of various campaigns by many stakeholders appealing for peace in the case irrespective of the determination of the court.
Meanwhile, the court will communicate in due course on the exact date for the ruling which is expected to be done within 45 days as stipulated in the Constitution.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :