Private practice lawyer Bright Theu has warned President Peter Mutharika to stop his continued condemnation of the Judiciary for annulling the May 2019 presidential election, saying if anything he should blame his legal team for “clearly unprofessional and embarrassing” show in the elections case.
Theu challenges Mutharika that he has no legal authority to decide legal disputes.
Since the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) delivered its ruling in the high profile Presidential Election case on February 3, 2020, which was later upheld by the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal (MSCA) on May 8, 2020, Mutharika has been attacking the Judiciary for delivering a ruling that went against his favour.
Thus, it was not surprising that even in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered in Parliament on Fridat, the President did not forget to mention judges at the bar, who have seemingly become his sworn enemies.
Mutharika said the courts failed to show or prove that the irregularities affected the result of the election.
But Theu, who represented vice-president Saulos Chililma as first petitioner in the elections case, described Mutharika’s as accomplished senseless and empty thunder.
He argues that courts are under no obligation to show or prove anything when deciding legal disputes.
“Whatever decision they [Judiciary] make, they are required to give reasons, which justify their conclusion(s). By our constitutional order, their decisions are binding and must be respected, and not denigrated as you have been doing, including in your SONA address,” Theu said in his post on his Facebook account.
The lawyer advises Mutharika to direct his anger at his legal team which was led by Frank Mbeta assisted by Samuel Tembenu , David Kanyenda and Chancy Gondwe who failed to advance relevant arguments to prove the case otherwise.
Theu said the President’s lawyers tirelessly tried to advance the argument that the irregularities did not affect the result as the petitioners alleged and proved.
“Those diametrically opposed arguments are exactly the dispute that arose for decision by the courts. Our system allows each party to advance their case. Your lawyers and their proxy colleagues representing the Electoral Commission laboured in cahoots to convince the court on the same argument you are trying to re-open before Parliament.
“It turned out that your argument and the effort and resource used to advance it were brutum fulmen, senseless and empty thunder. And the court saw it for what it really was and dismissed it with remarkable contempt,” he emphasized.
Theu challenged that as per Malawi’s constitutional order, no matter how much Mutharika may lust for it, he has absolutely no legal authority to decide legal disputes as the mandate was reserved for the courts.
“And yes, to your chagrin, the courts are there to decide disputes in which you are also a party. Neither does the Parliament, before which you are trying to re-open the issue, have such authority. Your address on this point is another senseless and empty thunder sir. You lost spectacularly,” he says.
“Sit down, and let the nation move on to the fresh election. In fact it is your conduct in trying to frustrate the constitutional order in which courts decide legal disputes that is a serious breach of the Constitution for which you are liable to impeachment, if you were not presiding over a banana republic. Your tactics are a criminal waste of time, to quote someone in your camp,” Theu warned.
The lawyer further cautions Mutharika against creating a power struggle between Parliament and the Judiciary, challenging that ‘Parliament is not supreme above the courts just as the Executive is not above the National Assembly’.
“The three branches are at best co-equal branches of the State. Whether you like it or not, this is the arrangement we as a nation agreed on when you were away – yea thank you presented some paper during the process, but you never drafted anything. Don’t even start. If you don’t like the workings of constitutionalism, rule of law, separation of powers, and check and balances that begot the judgments nullifying that embarrassment of an election, don’t waste our time, just get the hell out of there. Finito!” Theu concluded.
Mutharika filed his nomination papers for the rerun alongside his new running mate Atupele Muluzi, the 41-year old son of former President Bakili Muluzi, who ruled Malawi from 1994 to 2004.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :