Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) top brass who were involved in a scheme to subvert the constitutional order on the filling of the vacancy created after the death of former president Bingu wa Mutharika, have exonerated Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo that he was not part of their plotting meeting.
The DPP gurus plotted to install Mutharika’s brother, Peter, as new president instead of Vice President Joyce Banda.
In an interview with The Guardian newspaper of the UK, Banda recently alleged that the Chief Justice was among the judges who were waiting at Peter Mutharika’s residence in Lilongwe, ready to swear him in as president when president Mutharika died of cardiac arrest in Lilongwe on April 5 2012.
But the DPP gurus used their party’s newspaper , Sky News, to defend Munlo saying the Chief Judge did not in person attend the ‘coup plot’ meetings of cabinet ministers which took place at the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).
The paper run by DPP regional governor Noel Masangwi quoted ex-ministers Goodall Gondwe, Nicholas Dausi and Vuwa Kaunda vehemently defending the Chief Judge.
“I never saw, I do not recall and I do not think I remember seeing the Chief justice at any of the meetings,” Gondwe told the paper.
Gondwe also denied that he hosted one of the meetings at his residence, saying they all took place at Capital Hill.
“These meetings were two only and they both took place at the OPC. They never took place at my house,” he said.
Munlo, on his part, has chosen to remain silent on the matter until an opportune time and forum.
However, Malawi Law Society has asked President Banda and the Attorney General (AG) to ask the Chief Justice to step down as Judicial Service Commission (JSC) chairperson to pave the way for the investigations.