The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has told President Peter Mutharika to come out and condemn his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) followers who on Monday attacked the Constitutional Court judges who were hearing the election case calling them corrupt.
Thousands of the DPP on Monday took to the streets in Blantyre to protest against the Constitutional Court ruling which annulled the May 21, 2019 presidential election and ordered the fresh election in July.
DPP executive member Henry Mussa, a former Cabinet minister, later issued a petition to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate the five judges on allegations that they received bribes from Dr Saulos Chilima and Dr Lazarus Chakwera, the petitioners in the case to have the ruling in their favour.
But Mtambo described the protest march and the petition as an attack on the independence of the judiciary.
“The threatening of the judges is unwarranted and uncalled for. This can have a negative effect on the independence of the judiciary,” said Mtambo.
But the DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi, who was part of the demonstrations, refused to comment on the matter.
However, on Monday Dausi said the Constitutional Court ruling was against the wishes of the people who voted during the presidential election last year.
Mtambo also asked Mutharika to fire the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners after the court ruling said the election was marred with irregularities and anomalies which had been widespread, systematic and grave that the election result was seriously compromised.
But Mutharika , a law professor who spent most of his time abroad, already branded the Constitutional Court’s decision as “a threat to democracy and an attempt to usurp the will of the people”. In his special address aired on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, he said he considered the judgement a “serious subversion of justice, an attack on the country’s democratic system and an attempt to undermine the will of people”.
During the march, the DPP supporters carried well-prepared placards whose messages hailed MEC chairperson Jane Ansah while attacking the judges and others such as MEC commissioner Mary Nkosi, who told a parliamentary inquiry last week that she had misgivings about some decisions the electoral body made.
Some of the placards read ‘MEC commissioner Nkosi a traitor’, ‘MEC chair commissioner Dr Jane Ansah very educated judge’ and ‘This is a fraudulent court ruling.’
Other, senior DPP officials who took part in the march included presidential adviser on political affairs Francis Mphepo and Roads Authority board chairperson Brown Mpinganjira, DPP regional governor (South) Charles Mchacha, DPP secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey, DPP legislators Sameers Suleman and Chimwemwe Chipungu.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :