“…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.
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.
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and Cabinet Zangazanga Chikhosi said the appointment made by former President Peter Mutharika last year has been rescinded with immediate effect.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.”
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.”
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :