Malawi risks a constitutional crisis: Chilima remains veep despite exclusion on protocol list

Malawi Law Society and  governance expert  have said President Peter Mutharika’s decision to remove Vice-President Saulos Chilima on protocol list as observed on Cabinet list released by the Office of the President and Cabinet and signed by Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara is a “threat to constitutionalism.”

Chilima: Stays put as Malawi Vice President

The two top citizens have had a strenuous relationship and Chilima  ditched the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)   in June this year and declared he will challenge Mutharika in the presidential race in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections under the banner of his newly former UTM party.

“The current Cabinet risks being declared unvalid or unconstitutional by virtue of leaving out the Veep,” governance expert and commentator Mankhumbo Munthali told Nyasa Times, saying one can move the Court to review the President’s decision.

He said the move contradicts Section 92(1) of the Constitution which states: “There shall be a Cabinet consisting of the President, the First Vice-President, the Second Vice-President and such ministers and deputy ministers as may, from time to time, be appointed by the President.”

Munthali said if the Cabinet protocol list is challenged in court it would mean that any functions carried out by members of the cabinet may be declared illegal and unconstitutional.

“ The Constitution is very clear on the composition of the Cabinet,” he said. “In a sense, what the President has done is a threat to constitutionalism.”

Malawi Law Society (MLS) president Alfred Majamanda also said  the provision in Section 92(1) of the Constitution makes it mandatory that the Vice-President should be part of the Cabinet.

He also said the anomaly following Mutharika’s of Chilima is a threat to constitutionalism, especially when it comes to presiding over Cabinet meetings.

Majamanda said  Section 92(3) which provides that Cabinet meetings shall be presided over by the President or, “in the temporary absence of the President”, by the First Vice-President. The Constitution further states that in the “temporary absence” of the President and the First Vice-President, the Second Vice-President shall preside over such meetings.

In February 2014, Mutharika picked Chilima, who worked in the private sector as the first Malawian managing director for Airtel Malawi Limited, as his running mate and the duo ousted then incumbent Joyce Banda and her People’s Party (PP) from Capital Hill.

Chilima has publicly expressed dismay over growing levels of corruption in government, deteriorating standards of living among Malawians and hooliganism orchestrated by the ruling DPP youth cadets.

The Cabinet list also has seen the President role at Commander-In Chief of Malawi Police Services being omitted but that of Malawi Defence Forces was mentioned.

On the protocol list the second after President Mutharika is Goodall Gondwe (Finance, Economic Planning and Development) who has retained his seat and then third Henry Mussa  as   Information and Communications Technology and fourth Jean Alfazema Kalirani as Minister if Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

Protocol list shows Kondwani Nankhumwa (Local Government and Rural Development) onf fifth and then sixth placed Atupele Muluzi (Health and Population) followed by Fanrcis Kasila (Industry, Trade and Tourism) then  Joseph Mwanamvekha (Agriculture, Irrigation and Development).

On number nine on protocol list is Bright Msaka (Education, Science and Technology) followed by  Samuel Tembenu (Justice and Constitutional Affairs), Emmanuel Fabiano (Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) , Grace Chiumia (Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Developmen) and Jappie Mhango (Transport and Public Works).

The protocol continues with Nicholas Dausi  (Ministry of Homeland Security -hat will also incorporate  the Department of Disaster Management Affairs -Dodma), Cecelia Chazama(Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare), Aggrey Massi (Natural Resources, Energy and Mining ) and  Everton Chimulirenji ( Civic Education, Culture and Community Development).

The Cabinet list also includes Charles Mchacha, who is also Thyolo West legislator, as Deputy Minister of Homeland Security. And two new faces are Phalombe East member of Parliament (MP) Alex Mailosi as Deputy Minister of Defence and Chitipa South MP Welani Chilenga as Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining.

Kalekeni Kaphale as Attorney General has also been included in the Cabinet list.

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President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza
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President Mkango Lion Manthakanjenjemereza

A Man without honour is not worthy a man so is disgraced party and evil DPP

Achalume
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Achalume

putting malamulo pambali …..but if he claims that the current government is corrupt… should he be included in the same affairs that he is pointing fingers on???

Mbanji
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Mbanji

The government not run by putting malamulo pambali, you follow the law to the book and that’s democracy

ndatopa
Guest
ndatopa

When you start putting malamulo pambali is when you start imposing things that do not even make sense, shame on DPP and “The State”

pathfinder
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pathfinder

lol Makhumbo Munthali, Majamanda and nyasatimes, please osamangoyang’ana malamulo mbali imozi yomwe ikukomwera inuyo. Ndaphatikiza nyasatimes chifukwa mukanadziwa malamulo a dziko lanu simukanachita publish tsamba ili. And why always use makhumbo munthali? Has he ever helped you or malawians in any way after kulubwalubwa kwake? Osaiwalatu kuti mu dpp muli ma professor tsono inu pitani ku court tikakomana komweko. Musaiwaletu kuti that useless attorney general waisiya ntchito, watsalanso ndi chitsiru chija cha judge John Chirwa. Muyisova!

Kunena Mosapsyatila.
Guest
Kunena Mosapsyatila.

Papulofesa amene akulephera kuyendetsa dziko, kupanga ma mistake tho tho tho pofuna kuletsa kupanga register UTM, ofuna kupereka ziphuphu za K200 million ku ma judge, omangoluza milandu ndi ya zii yomwe and many more errors. Uwuwutu ndeno uli clear clear. Kukhotiko ukangopita ndiwowinawina kale: Koma ma BP ndi ma stroke owayamba dala awa!!!! Kaya koma zili kumeneko!!!!

TIMUONA BWINO AMENE AKULUBWALUBWA PATSOGOLO POMPANO. GOD HEAL OUR COUNTRY.

Goms
Guest
Goms

If this is the case then constitutionalism is useless

Agenda Setting Theory
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Agenda Setting Theory

It is only the Army, the Navy and the Airforce which are supposed to be considered as armed forces. Police, Prison, and Immigration are not armed forces, therefore, it is right that they do not appear. Siwonse owala uniform kapena kunyamula mfuti amane ali atsilikali. They should know from today that they are not armed forces. They are Malawi police Service and Malawi prison Service. We no longer have Malawi Police Force.

M'Malawi Weniweni
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M'Malawi Weniweni

The list published by government is only for cabinet ministers appointed under section 94 of constitution. Cabinet ministers are just one component of the CABINET. The other being President and Vice president.

Where is the constitutional crisis here? President is free to drop VP from being a minister

MUNYERA
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MUNYERA

Kumamvetsetsa kaye zinthu musanapange comment, shame on you kkkkkkk

ndatopa
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ndatopa

kuthamanga magazi bwanji??? your comprehension of issues is very limited

Chriss
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Chriss

Zotsatira za Mabodza achina Dausi, Nankhumwa lero zikupweteketsa mutu abwana. Peter and Saulosi were in good terms koma mabodza. The AG please advise the President to include the Vice on the list of Cabinet if you are reallt a lawyer

Kanyimbi
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Kanyimbi

Let us impeach him by asking our greedy MCP Members who r toralating APM’s mediocrity for fear that if APM is impeached its Chilima who takes over but wanted Chakwera so with that set up MCP would rather things remain unconstitutional & Malawians want to vote for MCP which is supporting APM to rule with impunity.

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