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).
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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :