Court to ditch wigs and robes: Extends session time to fast track Malawi elections case

As temperature rises the Constitutional Court hearing the presidential election petition case in Lilongwe has said it is considering a request to suspend the traditional court garb where judges and lawyers wear white horse-hair wigs and gowns.

Lawyers  are melting under their garb

The five judge panel comprising Hearly Potani, Ivy Kamanga, Dingiswayo Madise, Mike Tembo and Redson Kapindu presiding over the case, said they are yet to make a decision on ditch the wigs and robes but in the interim asked for more air condition in the court room.

So until a decision is made to relax the dress code, judges and a battalion of lawyers from petitioners and respondents will continue to wear robes and curly wigs as well as wing collars and bands — white cotton strips worn round the neck.

Justice Potani noted that the wigs and gowns add decorum to the court proceedings, they also add a sense of dignity and discipline to the participants.

He also pointed out that some lawyers feel the wigs give them an air of authority.

But with the sweltering Lilongwe heat, lawyers are melting under their garb.

Malawi judiciary is still stuck with other relics of the colonial courtroom: bows, references to judges as “my lord” and “my lady”.

Meanwhile, the court has extended its daily afternoon session by one hour to begin at 9am to 6pm each day to expedite hearing of the historic case.

The court was earlier meeting up to 5pm.

During cross-examination,  one of the lawyers representing first respondent, President Peter Mutharika,  Madaliso Mmeta quizzed witness Peter Lackson of second petitioner ( Malawi Congress Party –MCP presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera) that MCP did not verify data with that of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).

“You did not compare the data with the data of MEC, did you?” Mmeta asked.

Lackson responded: “Yes we did not with an explanation.”

Mmeta accused Lackson of twisting the figure, an assertion the witness dismissed.

And another witness Richard Chapweteka who was cross-examined and re-examined a couple of weeks ago, returned to the witness box to be questioned on the new evidence he sought regarding the packaging list of ballot papers.

Chapweteka told the court that there were extra documents, especially the 66C forms booklets [used for tallying results], that were not indicated as shipped in the country from Dubai printers for training purposes.

MEC- the second respondents- was supposed to source 5002 booklets but instead 5 5000 were shipped in the country providing an extra 498 with some of the forms being claimed by MCP were tippexed and manually altered.

In the case, MCP’s Chakwera  and UTM Party president Saulos Chilima, are seeking disqualification of the May 21 presidential election results, citing irregularities by the electoral body in administering the polls. They want the court to order a re-run.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Sharing is caring!

Follow us in Twitter
11 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Munthu
Munthu
2 years ago

When the blind lead, both the leaders and their followers will fall into a ditch!.
Grey hair is a sign of wisdom, but when you see all these men in their seventies or eighties with jet black hair, know that they are yet to mature.
Those wigs are probably the most expensive piece of the most useless garment in the lawyer’s wardrobe. Now, if our educated elite are the most ardent imitators of their colonial masters, what chance has the uneducated to break the cycle of blind copying?

Kapado Chimulirenji
2 years ago

No we did not osati yes, we did not. Munalibe aphunziiztsi a chingerezi ku sukulu kodi, inu a mboni?

Pewani
Pewani
2 years ago

A Kapado, Inu munabadwira Ku Mangalande eti? Mukuwoneka kuti ndinu Katakwe wa chingelezi.

Tariq
Tariq
2 years ago

these wigs say everything about the collective state of the legal practitioners mind… unthinking and stupid…. munthu tsitsi lako lachibadwa ndi lakuda, ndikumava zauchitsiluzi for no reason other than for purposes of costuming for work. za ziiiiii.

Tariq
Tariq
2 years ago

get rid of these stupid colonial artefacts…. the people who made you were these stupid costumes dont even wear them anymore and here you are clinging to this nasty, vulgar bullshit….

Kuthundira
Kuthundira
2 years ago

Mnadabwa ine zulo Times & Zodiac kuti pheeeee ngati mulandu kulibe .Osaziwa kuti Richard Chapweteka wataya ziwo zagulu shame with your evidence from a well wisher.Mcp Makani onse aja umboni munalibe kumadalira well wisher? .

Charie
Charie
2 years ago

Kkkkkk chilungamo chafika kulibe kuli kose munthu okwiya amawina mulandu owina ndi anthu a mtendere.mwapeleka chitsazo chabwino ku dziko lose lapasi kuyika mulandu pa air aliyese akuvetsera live….utm ndi mcp ali ndi umboni wongovetsedwa osati anuwake oyimira mulandu no evidence…..pempho a Court apitilize chilungamo chawo olakwa adziwe nawoso chochita potsata malamulo adziko.Vomelezani Kut APM wakunyenyani nyenyani anawina zisankho nde akawinaniso mulandu.

Geoffrey
Geoffrey
2 years ago
Reply to  Charie

APM anawakudzula. Knowledge is power.

malcolm x
malcolm x
2 years ago

peter lackson chimangeni is all rude and no evidence. very useless witness wationongela mlandu

Lego
2 years ago
Reply to  malcolm x

So you have got more evidence than him?Go and testify then

Graham Zali
Graham Zali
2 years ago

Basi muzingovala ma vest. Tione 1 pack ya kaphale.

Read previous post:
Malawi NGO Board to stop issuing licenses to non compliant organisations

The Non Governmental Organisations (NGO) Board of Malawi has announced that it will stop issuing annual operating licenses to NGOs...

Close