The Malawi Law Society (MLS) has come out guns blazing in condemning some undemocratic tendencies exhibited by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
In a statement released on Thursday, MLS says it finds fault with the HRDC-organized demonstrations that locked the offices of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) as a means of compelling resignation of the Commissioners and the DPP-organized demonstrations which included public allegations that the High Court Judges in the Constitutional Referral received bribes as an inducement informing the decision delivered in the High Court.
“The Law Society finds both the above acts uncalled for and strongly condemns these acts. In respect of the closure of MEC offices, the Society notes that the High Court in its judgement outlined the relevant legal steps that need to be taken to determine the ability of the MEC Commissioners to conduct the fresh elections ordered by the Court and that those processes are publicly under way.
“We recommend to member and leaders of HRDC to seek appropriate legal counsel and observe the relevant limits and legal guidance in any future pursuit of the right to assemble and demonstrate peacefully and unarmed,” reads the statement, signed by MLS honorary secretary Martha Kaukonde.
DPP inciting against judges
The statement further condemns the DPP demonstrations against the Constitutional Court ruling.
“In respect of the allegations of bribery against the Judges, the Law Society notes that the law provides due processes for reporting complaints of alleged criminal conduct which the Democratic Progressive Party ought to be familiar with and employ if the allegations against the Judges have any underlying merit.
“Without following such usual processes, the Law Society finds this conduct by the DPP to be a direct attack on the independence of the judiciary and contrary to the constitutional dictates. The DPP and indeed any political grouping or opinion makers is hereby called upon to desist from inciting the uninformed public against Judges.
“We strongly condemn and discourage such conduct and insist that if there is any query with the High Court judgment, appropriate appeal processes provided for under the law be pursued to their logical end,” says the statement.
The Law Society contends that in order to preserve the integrity and sanctity of the judicial process so far and that of all subsequent judicial processes taken out by the MEC and President Peter Mutharika in the Presidential Elections, the Law Society therefore calls upon the DPP to publicly withdraw all corruption allegations publicly made against the Judges and to desist from any further conduct of such kind.
“We recommend that such allegations if founded be reported to appropriate institutions,” said the law body.
Finally, the Law Society appeals to all stakeholders to respect the judgment of High Court unless otherwise dealt with by the Supreme Court.
“In this regard, the Law Society calls upon all individuals or/and government agencies assigned to give effect to the judgment to do so immediately, responsibly and in accordance with the applicable laws and the terms of the judgment.
“Members of the public and the civil society must allow smooth enforcement of the judgment and avoid acts or conduct that may interfere with or be used by statutory offices responsible for implementation of the judgment as excuses for non-compliance with the judgment,” says the statement.
Following an exhaustive review of petitions submitted by the opposition, judges of the Constitutional Court ruled against Mutharika whose presidential victory last May was attributed to massive fraud.
The Court cited irregularities that included voting sheets covered in correction fluid and the failure of the Electoral Commission to audit the totals.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :