The decision by the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal that has reversed a High Court order that sought to compel President Peter Mutharika to fire his then Cabinet minister George Chaponda in connection with a controversial maize import deal in 2017 is inorder, a local daily has stated in an editorial urging some civil society organisations (CSOs) that took up the matter to move on.
The leading daily, The Nation, in an extended coverage of their reporting of the Supreme Court of Appeal sitting in Lilongwe which Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda said there was no judicial provision giving the Judiciary the mandate to interfere in decisions of the presidency regarding appointment and removal of Cabinet members, said in an editorial comment that the CSOs should not feell disappointed ornlet down.
“In fact, the judgement has not in any way reinvented the wheel. It has just emphasised and interpreted twhat the laws in this country provide,” reads the comment in part.
In the ruling, Nyirenda said: “It is not courts’ business to go as far as suggesting who should be appointed, removed or suspended from the office of minister.
“We cannot force a Cabinet minister to resign from office as that is a political decision for an individual minister to make where the individual minister is embroiled in a scandal.”
The editorial agreed with the court that it is right to state that appointments to the Cabinet are the preserve of prerogative of the President as provided in the Constitution, saying such decisions are political and it would be a recipe for chaos if the courts were to grant petitioners their wishes to pressure the President to fire, suspend or otherwsise act on a member of Cabinet suspected of wrong-doing.
Mzuzu-based Youth and Society (YAS) executive director Charles Kajaloweka has since been commended by the paper for taking up the matter to court, said the CSOs did “the needful in seeking the judician interpretation of the situation.” It said the judgement should be a learning point and energise them “to continue to fight for the best interest of Malawians.”
All in all, the paper said the President and all people holding public office should be accountable to the people who entrusted them with such offices.
“This is the reason we way that where things are going wrong or indeed there are some doubts, the CSOs anf all citizens should rise up and speak out in every legal manner possible, including peaceful demonstrations,” concluded the editorial.
However, Kajoloweka said it was unfortunate that the court has ordered him to personally bear all costs incurred during the case.
“Our strongest belief is that the courts should be the last institution to discourage the public taking matters of their own interest for review if they have to do so. We will go back and study the judgement.
“Our view is how many cases we win, but counting on number of times we have taken to challenge corruption in the country,”Kajoloweka said in quotes reported by the paper.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :