Malawi legal expert names Section 65 ‘bad law’

A law lecturer at University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, Leton Mauya Msuku,  says Malawi should literally ‘delete’ section 65 of the Malawi Constitution saying it is irrelevant.

Speaking on Contemporary Issues, a panel discussion program aired on Radio Islam, which also featured former ruling DPP’s Nicholas Dausi, Msuku argued that section 65 has the hallmark of a bad law because every time it is about to be implemented makes the other party cry foul.

“We understand that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials were crying foul when United Democratic Front (UDF) officials petitioned the Speaker to invoke the section after the exodus of UDF MPs to the then newly formed DPP. And now People’s Party (PP) officials are crying foul as DPP are pushing for its implementation. This provision should be removed from the Constitution,” the law expert said.

Dausi: Let there be mass by-elections

Msuku also said he sees no reason why the Speaker of the national assembly should bow down to the DPP officials demand.

“On my personal opinion, I feel it is not necessary to invoke the provision because it will only result in several legal battles as was the case during the time when UDF pushed for its implementations some years ago,” he said.

Msuku also based his argument on what he called “doctrine of necessity” saying once it is implemented it will create many problems including  inconveniencing the constituents in the areas of the affected MPs, and also force the government to spend a lot of  funds in conducting by elections that would follow.

But DPP’s deputy spokesperson, Dausi said no matter what people would say, the party will go ahead to  petition the Speaker of parliament to invoke the section.

“Don’t ask me about why we (DPP) were resisting in the past when UDF wanted to invoke the section. Let bygones be bygones. And we cannot repeat the past mistake. Yes, it was wrong that time but now we want to make it right, so the Speaker should invoke the section,” said Dausi.

Dausi said he wonders what the concerned MPs are afraid of since they said they consulted their respective constituents before they joined PP.

“There is no need to be worried about if they indeed sought the mandate from the people who elected them. They will definitely vote them back into the house if what they [the MPs] did was wishes of their constituents,” said Dausi.

There were also mixed views from contributors to the programs. Some wanted the provision to the effected while others said ‘no’.

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