President Peter Mutharika has rubbished the country’s estranged Vice-President Saulos Chilima for reporting him and Acting Inspector General of Police Duncan Mwapasa to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over crimes against humanity allegedly committed between 2018 and 2020.
Spokesperson for Mutharika, Mgeme Kalilani, poured scorn on the calls for ICC action against the Malawian president.
Kalilani contends that the political violence Malawi has been experiencing for the past year was started by Chilima himself in collaboration with the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Reverend Lazarus Chakwera and the Human Rights Defenders Coalition in reaction to their loss in May 2019 presidential polls.
“Together, they have been planning, funding and perpetuating the violence across the country on innocent people in the guise of peaceful demonstrations since May 2019.
“They can’t fool any reasonable court about their involvement. He is probably misleading himself to believing that he can also manipulate the ICC and use it as political tool,” said Kalilani.
But the country’s impoverished and embittered populace are not focusing on the possible indictment of Mutharika at the Hague as they feel reporting him “might just be a waste of time.”
One observer said it is futile to expect anything serious from ICC .
But Garton Kamchedzera, professor of law at Chancellor College—a constituent college of the University of Malawi— said a referral to the ICC would o send an unmistakable message to the beleaguered citizens of Malawi that Mutharika will ultimately be held accountable for his crimes.
He said normally,the ICC will assess such complaints and check whether the local remedies have failed or not.
“I think the thinking in Chilima is that the people that have the power, the authority to pursue the cases, arrest and bring these matters to court are the police not him as the Vice- President because he can’t say I will arrest or prosecute them,” said Kamchedzera.
ICC is a creation of the UN and Malawi is a signatory of the Rome statute, the treaty which grants the Hague court jurisdiction over four main offences—crimes against humanity, which are serious violations committed as part of a large-scale attack against any civilian population; genocide; war crimes and crime of aggression.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :