Malawi ConCourt judges win Chatham House 2020 award

The judges of the High Court of Malawi, who heard the landmark May 21 2019 presidential election nullification case, have won the  prestigious 2020 Chatham House prize.

The judges who heard the case include Potani, Ivy Kamanga, Mike Tembo, Redson Kapindu and Dingiswayo Madise.

The judges earned international recognition after   United Kingdom-based Chatham  House—a world centre  for research and analysis for international affairs—  shortlisted them because their bravery demonstrated in protecting the constitutional process during the presidential election case.

Through a October 23  2020 letter addressed to Judge Healey Potani, who chaired the five-judge panel that sat as the Constitutional Court (ConCourt), United Kingdom-based Chatham House director Robin Niblett said the judges  have won the prize.

Reads the letter in part: “I am delighted to inform you that your nomination for the 2020 Chatham House Prize has been voted for as the winner of this year’s award.”

In the letter, Niblett indicated that Chatham House will arrange a presentation ceremony for the award in Lilongwe in the near future and at its London Conference next June.

Organisers of the award said the selection process of the winner takes place in three stages where it initially draws on the input of senior research teams and then recommendations are presented to its co-presidents who produce the shortlist of nominees before voting is done by the full Chatham House membership.

Potani—who heard the case alongside judges Ivy Kamanga, Mike Tembo, Redson Kapindu and Dingiswayo Madise— has confirmed being informed of the international recognition.

He said the judges will issue a statement of acceptance through the registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Agnes Patemba.

Sunduzwayo Madise, dean of the Faculty of Law at Chancellor College—a constituent college of the University of Malawi, described the award of the five judges as a big achievement of the Judiciary and Malawi as a country.

He said the international award  “shows Malawi’s levels of maturity in terms of democracy and the rule of law.”

The five judges on February 3 2020 nullified the presidential election case over alleged irregularities, especially in the results management system, as prayed by first petitioner Saulos Chilima of UTM Party and second petitioner Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party (MCP). The court declared that then president Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was not duly elected and ordered a fresh election within 150 days.

A seven-judge panel of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal on May 8 upheld the ConCourt judgement.

However, Mutharika, a professor of international law, opined that the Judiciary erred in its judgement. He described the judgement as a “judicial coup” and an attempt to usurp the will of the people who voted for him.

Mutharika subsequently lost in the June 23 fresh presidential election to the pair of Chakwera and Chilima who amassed 59 percent of the vote.

Previous recipients of the award introduced in 2005 include Ukraine President Victor Yuschenko, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva,  president of Brazil, former Mozambique president Joaquim Chissano and former president of Ghana John Kuffuor.

The international award is presented each year to an institution or states person who is judged by Chatham House members to have made the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year.

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Joshua
Joshua
7 months ago

Congratulations our judges. The achievement was in the face of a K100,000,000 (one hundred million kwacha) bribe to each judge by one of the business baron(now in custody). In the face of guns and bullets, only to save mother Malawi from malignant Hyenas.
Bravo Potani and crew.

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
7 months ago

Wow! that’s wonderful indeed. Putting the country on the map for good reasons at last.
Hallo nkhalamba ku Mangochi ko.

Alamu Pumani Mwakalamba

You did a good job. Chimunthu chakuba, chamakani chija kulibe. Ntopwa, Bangwe and others asoweratu.

BUTANI GINAH
7 months ago

Congrats I hope will be encouraging others taking responsibility when things are tight and tough by choosing what is right or justice not being selfish which allows bribes acceptance.

Ngombwax
Ngombwax
7 months ago

This is a big fuckin’ deal, if it’s not fake. I can’t seem to find this info on the Chatham House website though.

Mkanda Gudu
Mkanda Gudu
7 months ago
Reply to  Ngombwax

You may to know that, this will be posted once the judges through Justice Potani have accepted the award.

Amigo
Amigo
7 months ago
Reply to  Ngombwax

It cant be fake just because you don’t know bro

Luckson
Luckson
7 months ago

Award for doing their job? Does a nurse get an award for doing their job? Does a tailor get an award for doing their job? Does a policeman get an award for arresting a thief? Does a cook get an award for doing their job? The judges were not supposed to be vulnerable ro bribes and should have done their duty without blinking!! Does a wife now need an award for satisfying her conjugal obligation by satisfying her husband’s needs? Shaaaa! This is ridiculously lowering the bar for expectations on job performance in Africa! But, hey, we r regarded as… Read more »

Kapoli
Kapoli
7 months ago
Reply to  Luckson

Yes. A person can get an award for doing his/her job if the job was done exceptionally well. It happens all the time in various organisations, public or private. Why do organisations give some sort of reward to retiring employees? They were just doing their job.

Sour grapes, Nyekhwe!

Sikusinja
Sikusinja
7 months ago
Reply to  Luckson

Actually world over people do get awards for doing their jobs. Teachers get teacher of the year awards. Companies have employee of the month, of the year awards. People get Nobel peace prizes for doing their job. Even in soccer people get man of the match awards. Some transport companies give awards to drivers if they drive for so long without an accident. Maybe get out of the cave you live in and you will notice that their are awards everywhere. Even in schools kids get awards. You are just an idiot. Even a promotion is an award for doing… Read more »

Amigo
Amigo
7 months ago
Reply to  Luckson

Lets face it. The guys did a commendable job. I remember walking in the streets of Lusaka and when i got identified as a Malawian, well meaning Zambians congratulated me through out. I felt happy and proud indeed. All because of the way the judges conducted themselves. Long live Malawi

Muchinga
Muchinga
7 months ago

Viva Malawian judges.Their bravery and their just judgement has forever changed Malawian political landscape interms of Presidential elections.One can observe that the judgement was a political earthquake which reverberated to all corners of the political planet.

Chipapwiche
Chipapwiche
7 months ago

Bravo a well deserved prize and heartfelt congratulations to the brave judges, unmoved judges with unwavering decisions, unselfish judges who despite the spears, guns pointing their side still felt they had to make the right decisions whatever the consequences would be. Words fail me and this is the feeling of many Malawians and I say it on their behalf. God should protect you always because you should know there are still the bitter ones who wish to unleash bad things to you, I say God should send or let the bad things hit them. Once again a big congratulations to… Read more »

Sayikoloni Ludzi
Sayikoloni Ludzi
7 months ago

Ambuye mutikhululukire vimajaj izi zawina Chatoloma House munthu wawo amafuna kuti akhale pampandoyo wayamba ukamberembere. ACB ikumvera iyeyo, viwanthu zake zapanga hotel gate room imodzi wani naiti K350,000 kuli zii!
Viwanthu zake zalanda malo a mmwenye kuChitipi kuli zii!
Anthu eni eni amawina Nobel Peace Prize osati Chatoloma House Prize, zagule basis…kkkkk

Bwana Wa Ulesi
Bwana Wa Ulesi
7 months ago

Umakwana

Bauleni
Bauleni
7 months ago

Am just a layman. But isnt it unethical and a conflict of interest for courts to be awarded awards, receiving gifts of any kind? Weren’t they doing their job? I think this concept is flawed

Mabvuto
Mabvuto
7 months ago
Reply to  Bauleni

A baukeni ndinu muthu omvetsa chisoni kwambiri, Ambuye akukhuzeni mwapadera

Emmanuel
Emmanuel
7 months ago
Reply to  Bauleni

While am also a layman. But it does not need a professional to understand the need for awarding someone something for a job well done. Chikukuvutani ndi chiani pamenepa. Ngakhale pakhomo akakuphikira bwino simunganene zikomo mwaphika bwino ngakhale kuti ndi ntchito yawo yophika?

Kapoli
Kapoli
7 months ago
Reply to  Emmanuel

Muuze amvetsetse!

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