Malawi election annulment: Common sense, not law, must lead

Malawi’s remarkable Constitutional Court ruling which annulled the 2019 presidential election and called for new polling, shows the path forward remains difficult as  President Peter Mutharika has indicated that he is appealling  the decision so too the Malawi Electoral Commission( MEC).

MCP supporters celebrate after a court annulled the May 2019 presidential vote that declared Peter Mutharika a winner, in Lilongwe, Malawi, February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Eldson Chagara

Mutharika’s PR machinery won’t be wrong to defend him saying, appealing is legal, as such, the President only exercised his right.

But there is always a danger when you have a President who thinks everything legal is right. There must always be a moment in the life of leader where common sense, not law, must lead.

I am sure we haven’t forgotten that there was a point, in history, when slave trade, despite its horrors, was legal. I am sure we haven’t forgotten that there was a point in history where racial segregation was legal. I am sure we haven’t forgotten that there was a point in history where some forces wanted to starve the entire nation because of Section 65, which is legal, at the expense of the national budget.

Truth be told, as a Head of State, not the head of the DPP-led government, Mutharika should have been the first to welcome the ConCourt ruling and assure the nation that he will do everything possible to safeguard the rule of law in this country.

Surprisingly, Mutharika chose the route of silence, throwing the nation in a sea of speculations, and, as expected, leaving it to the lawyers to help the public read his appealing mind. Those that argue that Mutharika is an absent elderly man should be feeling vindicated now.

Truth be told, Mutharika is not a greatest loser in that ruling. Chimulirenji, DPP as a party and MEC are the greatest losers.

Chimulirenji has lost his vice-presidency and all the eternal benefits that comes with the office. DPP as a party has lost a great deal in two ways: One, those that survives by associating with the party will have a rough ride and, secondly, the 50+1 proposal by Concourt is a nail on DPP’s coffin; they can’t win with it. MEC has, entirely, lost the grain of integrity left with them; they are now hollow, a complete laughing stock.

In all this, Peter Mutharika still heads the presidency. He is still the Head of State and government. His appointing powers are still intact.

All Mutharika needed, at this point, was to assemble a new DPP team that can appeal to people that don’t like it as we head to fresh elections. The first thing to achieve that was to accept the Concourt ruling which, we all know, excited so many Malawians.

By filing an appeal, it is clear that Mutharika  is being influenced by injured forces from Chimulirenji, DPP and MEC camp. They still want to regain what they lost through Mutharika. This is clear case of a President captured by selfish interests of forces working against the interest of Malawians.

The tragedy with Mutharika’s appeal is that he is directly acting against a ruling that most Malawians celebrated as a symbol of the growth of our democracy. In that appeal, Mutharika, hence, has just won himself a label of an old man taking our democracy backwards. This is not a good label to carry at this point in time.

As earlier said, let the Supreme Court work on Mutharika’s appeal. But, when all has been said and done, the ConCourt ruling was a milestone on our democracy and, if you love Malawi, it’s a ruling none has an option but to support it. Mutharika  has chosen the undermine and destroy it and, worse still, he is doing that not for his good or for the good of the public; but to protect those that captured his capacity to reason as a Head of State. History won’t remember him well.

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Long Live Malawi Democracy
Long Live Malawi Democracy
9 months ago

Only Hope Now for Malawi is President in waiting His Excellency Chakwera and Noone else as we have all seen how Peter n his lomwe thugs have looted this nation without caring or having any love for the nation now the people at large.. who have been suffering ever since the second term of bingu which is now constant suffering for 10 painful years. Chilima is also a big opportunist and a greedy person. Hes was the main orchestrain in rigging the 2014 elections through the airtel platform coz he was so power hungry. And now he is again showing… Read more »

austin
austin
9 months ago

The man of god Chakwera cannot be trusted. The powerful rich forces around him (eg Mia) are just watering their mouths to drain what little will be left when DPP exits. Chilima is the only hope for Malawi.

Tate
Tate
9 months ago

Another dunderhead trying to write in order to soothe his ego and the interests of his pay-masters. First, MCP and UTM celebrating the ConCourt ruling does not mean all Malawians celebrated. Second, have you given enough thought to the obvious errors the judges made in their ruling. Pick a few things they argued. 50+1 was already determined by the Supreme Court in 1999 and clearly the ‘majority’ in our constitution refers to a simple majority because there is no mechanism in it to achieve 50+1 through a re-run for example. Third, if the elections were marred by serious irregularities, why… Read more »

tombololo
9 months ago
Reply to  Tate

Wadyela iwe, love your country not political party, your fooling that old sheep

Thungululu
Thungululu
9 months ago

Let’s try those who tested the corridors of chancellor college this time…malawi has been ruled by Jerusalem university pipo ever since….starting from KB…to PM

Angoni apaphata
Angoni apaphata
9 months ago
Reply to  Thungululu

Those from chancellor college are answering cashgate charges

billy
billy
9 months ago

Not all of them.

Alternative
9 months ago

Mother of all demos will do.

Lilongwe
9 months ago

Let us continue writing and thinking. Zonsezi khoti liwongola. If 5 judges erred, khoti lina liwongola. Komanso appealing does not mean the other court can just change the ruling.

Noxy
9 months ago

This article is not different from the 5 Concourt Judges judgment and can only be subscribed by those people that are happy with suppression of justice and want to kill democracy.

Oh Boy
Oh Boy
9 months ago

Wow! Mkolokosa, the message delivered! Unfortunately in the deaf ears and the blind eyes, I believe and I can tell you that what Peter Mutharika is doing is to kill the once mighty Party called DPP formed out of anger by his own brother to bail out Malawians from the mouth of wapa keliyala Che Bakili Muluzi, I tell you Mkolokosa, this guy is deleting this Team of DDP and it will not be remembered as once a good party in multiparty system, better the way UDF and Afords death, at least some one can see it’s grave that it… Read more »

Tiyeseni Phiri
Tiyeseni Phiri
9 months ago

Strange argument! If the ruling was perfect the supreme court will uphold it. No need to panic. If the ruling deliberately abandoned the course of law to satisfy the mood of the people, it is a dangerous precedent! Malawi is governed by laws and not by the mood of the people. Change the laws appropriately first before you start applying them. Do not introduce new laws to destroys current operating systems before expiry of the terms of the systems.

Katonde
Katonde
9 months ago

Well stated

Cashgate1
Cashgate1
9 months ago

Gogo uyu, I doubt his professorship! These Jerusalem Colleges….He stopped thinking on his own long time ago and his being used as a proxy by DPP delinquents! Let’s put Malawi first. Baseline: he lacks leadership & we’ve been doomed for long time.

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