High Court Upholds DPP MP Ralph Jooma’s Victory in Mangochi – Monkey Bay May-2019 Election Case

The High Court in Malawi’s Commercial capital, Blantyre has upheld results of May 2019 Parliamentary election in Mangochi Monkey-Bay Constituency where Ralph Jooma was declared as the winner by the the country’s electoral body, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC)

The Court made the determination Wednesday through Justice Jack N’riva who has been presiding over the matter since 2019.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate, Ralph Jooma, a former cabinet minister was declared winner in 2019 but Gerald Kazembe of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) challenged the result in court claiming that there irregularities that has had affected the outcome of the polls.

Ralph Jooma: Victorious

Kazembe, who is currently MCP’s second deputy Secretary General prayed to the court to nullify Jooma’s victory and order fresh elections in the area.

However, N’riva today has upheld the decision by the Malawi Electoral Commission to declare Jooma as the bonafide winner.

In his ruling Justice N’riva thrown out Kazembe’s claims saying the evidence before the court by all witnesses failed to prove Kazembe’s claims that the polls were dictated by irregularities.

Results presented by Malawi Electoral Commission showed that Jooma, who was the incumbent regislator won the elections with 9,341 votes against Kazembe’s 9,052.

Kazembe, dissatisfied with the High Court ruling says he will file an appeal at the Supreme Court of Appeal.

“I will appeal against this ruling at the Supreme Court,” said Kazembe.

On his part, Jooma has said the ruling was expected because no complaints about irregularities were recorded in logbooks during the elections.

Kazembe (r) lost the elections and the case but vows to fight on

In an interview with Nyasa Times Jooma said: “Justice has been done. I never doubted for once that this case would be decided otherwise because as far as we and the Malawi Electoral Commission are concerned there were not irregularities and as the figures show it was a tight race.

Results of the 2019 Presidential and Parliamentary elections were heavily contested, with 44 petitions being filed across the country and this was the first ever case to be filed and so it also happens to be the last one to be decided up on.

The presidential elections were nullified by the five panel Constitutional Court judges last year.

The decision was later upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeal and fresh elections were held in June, 2020.

Since last year, about six 2019 parliamentary election results have been nullified and fresh elections have been held in the affected constituencies.

Ironically, the courts have had nullified parliamentary seats in all the constituencies where aggrieved candidates like Kazembe petitioned the courts.

Recently, the Malawi Congress Party team of campaigners led by firebrand politician, Abida Mia, who is now considered the Lower Shire giant won the two out of three constituencies in the Shire-Valley, which were nullified by the courts—cutting short political careers of veteran members of Parliament, Francis Kasaira of Nsanje Central Constituency and Esther Mcheka Chilenje of Nsanje North Constituency -who were replaced by Kafandikhale Mandevana and Enock Chizuzu respectively.

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