High court orders Chakwera to reinstate, two MEC commissioners

“…Pay their honorarium”

The High Court in Blantyre on Friday ordered President Lazarus Chakwera to immediately reinstate two embattled Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Commissioners Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje.

Dr Chikosa Silungwe: Attorney General: “I told you to follow the law”

The court has further ordered government to pay honorarium to the two mentioned MEC commissioners starting from the month they stopped receiving these benefits.

Apart from that, High Court Judge, Jack Nriva has also ordered said the office of the president to pay all the legal costs.

Jean Mathanga -pic by Lisa Kadango 

Chakwera fired the two saying they were appointed illegally and government at the time that they were already not receiving their monthly benefits against the Attorney General’s advice.

In a letter dated April 7 addressed to the two Secretary to the President and Cabinet Zangazanga Chikhosi said the appointment made by former President Peter Mutharika last year has been rescinded with immediate effect.

“The rescission is on the basis that you were adjudged incompetent by the Supreme Court of Appeal on 8th May, 2020 in MSCA Constitutional Appeal no.1 of 2020 regarding the manner in which you handled the 2019 General Elections,” said Chikhosi.

Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe told Chikhosi that maintaining the composition of the current MEC commission would be “neater and mature political pragmatism.”

SPC Zangazanga Chikhosi – ignored Attorney General’s advice and chose to follow himself.

But according to Chikhosi, the Supreme Court ruling disqualified Mathanga and Kunje from being appointed as MEC commissioners.

He cited section 75 (3) (b) of the Constitution which says that a person shall cease to be a commissioner of MEC “if any circumstances arise that, if that person were not a member of the Electoral Commission, he or she would be disqualified for appointment as such.”

However the two challenged the President’s decision to rescind their appointment.

Speaking in a phone interview, Kunje while confirming the development, expressed her excitement saying “I feel vindicated.”

Linda Kunje – back to work after big win

The firing of the two also came days after the ruling Malawi Congress Party dragged Chakwera to court of the composition of the electoral commission.

Kunje and Namathanga were appointed by former President, Peter Mutharika to represent his party, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) despite the high court declaring them incompetent especially in the way they handled the 2019 presidential elections, which the court nullified.

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Patrico
Patrico
1 month ago

Are these not the same weird sisters High Court and Suprime courts declared incompetent? I thought Law is supposed to take precedence? My appeal to Tonse Government should not relent. They should take this adjudication to supreme Court for review. The court is saying one thing today and a different thing tomorrow. Evidence of corruption is being manifested here.

Kwangwagwa
Kwangwagwa
1 month ago

Let the case be appealed to the supreme court and costs go higher than this, then get paid by individuals and not from the public purse

Noxy
1 month ago

Ignoring AG’s advice is illegal!

Phaloni
Phaloni
1 month ago

It has been revealed that the AG deliberately sabotaged the case. He did not even bother to file any affidavit. If his vision is different from that of the person who appointed him then why can’t he just resign?

Opportunist
Opportunist
1 month ago

AG has been vindicated.Silungwe you are not alone

Keen Observer
Keen Observer
1 month ago

The problem of taking advice from every Jim & Jack. The other problem as well is that other advisors don’t give the President the true advice based on the law but just trying to please the President which is bad. Now the AG is vindicated. I wish George Kasakula & Humphrey Mvula will come back on their Hot Current Program to apologise to the AG cos they demonised him for giving the President advice which the AG thought was based on law.

M'memo wa Tonse alliance mwagwera mchenga
M'memo wa Tonse alliance mwagwera mchenga
1 month ago

Kodi ndiye kuti basi apolisi anangotimenya kwa week imodzi pankhani yakusavala mask? Anatopa mwamsangatu. I think wina anawatsina khutu kuti timawapanganirana

Salima
Salima
1 month ago

Where is HRDC now to push for the costs to be paid by Chakwera and Chikhosi. That’s stupidity. Bravo Silungwe the best AG

Igbudu
1 month ago

If they think they can make any decision and thinking that they have the power, let me see them stopping this. Decision making isn’t about making oneself feel powerful, or to be seen as such by those around you, in this case no decision was made because we are back in the same position but with costs.

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
1 month ago

Rule of law.

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