MEC argues against ‘undue return’ determination in appeal against Malawi fresh election

Private practice lawyer Tamando Chokhotho representing the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) on Wednesday submitted his arguments before Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal hearing the appeal case which President Peter Mutharika and MEC filed against the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) judgement ordering vote re-run, saying the determination on undue return was a material error in law.

MEC’s private practice lawyer Tamando Chokotho arrives a the court with files of arguments.-photo by Lisa Kadango

The ConCourt panel, comprising Healey Potani, Redson Kapindu, Ivy Kamanga, Mike Tembo and Dingiswayo Madise, in their February 3 2020 said MEC failed in all constitutional tests it set out on the elections and that the irregularities were so glaring that the credibility of the election was in question.

The five-judges said they were satisfied that the petitioners’ complaint alleging undue return has been made out “both qualitatively and quantitatively.”

They ruled that Mutharika was not duly elected as President of Malawi and further ordered that a fresh election be held in accordance with the recommendation that   Parliament should review the country’s election management laws, particularly the 50-plus-one provision in choosing the President, to clarify on laws governing the declaration of a winner through a majority vote.

But in his one hour submission at the Supreme Court, Chokhotho one of the prolific lawyers in the land, has argued that the ConCourt had overstepped its powers by ordering parliament to amend electoral laws ahead of a new vote.

Chokhotho argued that two of the presidential candidates in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections—UTM Party’s Saulos Chilima (the first petitioner) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Lazarus Chakwera (the second petitioner)—failed to prove beyond doubt that figures in Results Management System were tampered with.

The petitioners alleged irregularities, especially in the results management system.

But Chokhotho raised a concern that MEC’s director of ICT services Hensley Munkhondiya was not allowed to be re-examined at ConCourt on exhibits which formed part of the electoral body’s evidence.

In answering the question which Justice Edward Twea asked on delegation of commissioners’ powers, Chokotho said: “Powers of the Commission cannot be delegated. We have argued that this is the provision of law which has never happened.

“Then it must not have been subjected to a challenge.”

He said Chief elections officer Sam Alfandika was critically cross-examined on this matter during the elections case hearing.

The fresh election has been set for July 2, although it could be delayed by the appeal and the coronavirus outbreak as the country has announced a three-week lockdown.

The Supreme Court judge panel led by Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda includes other judges; Justice Edward Twea, Justice Anaclet Chipeta, Justice Anthony Kamanga, Justice Lovemore Chikopa, Justice Frank Kapanda and Justice Renzine Mzikamanda.

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Banda
Banda
5 months ago

Those 5 constitutional judges need to be impeached because of their gross incompetence and corrupttion

Tembo
Tembo
5 months ago

ConCourt judgement has some nay errors not even one.

Mwikho
Mwikho
5 months ago

He has failed to interpret the constitution and hasn’t understood the constitutional court judgement. No point!!!

Nasingwe
Nasingwe
5 months ago

judociary not locked down 4 a purpose,to do with jonos lawyers

Naruto
5 months ago

Concourt was a sham.The judges didn’t just error, they pushed their own agenda. They set their own interest ahead of the nations. Disgraceful. Hope the supreme court is fair and just.

The Sage
The Sage
5 months ago
Reply to  Naruto

The courts can place measures to ensure sanity. That’s exactly what they did. There was no sham

Joni
Joni
5 months ago
Reply to  Naruto

Muwonanso, kuba mavoti konse kuja…..you thought basi zingotha chonchi basi….muliranso……MEC yinakuberekani ndi referee wotani ameneyu……MEC was fully a partner in sabotaging the choice of the Malawians……they choose who to win the elections……bribery attempt mkati ndiye kuti chiyani…..zikutanthauza chiyani kwa munthu wanzeru zake!

dyanayekuhker
dyanayekuhker
5 months ago
Reply to  Naruto

Naruto doesnt know law

Mask
Mask
5 months ago
Reply to  dyanayekuhker

@147 complaints tippex was never allowed. Not even in mec laws. Who supplied tippex , for what purpose , whatsoever not even me could trust the credibility and accountability. someone should school me went to school but run thru the window 😂😂

Central
Central
5 months ago
Reply to  dyanayekuhker

Musiye usataye naye nthawi “Naruto” ameneyu ndi “Bakha” yemwe anazolowela kudya chimanga cha pa nsaru ya diphiphi!!

Shady45
Shady45
5 months ago
Reply to  Naruto

Can u support your clams from law point of view kuti tivetsetsanepo timadzangoyamba kutsutsa zinthu zowona

Kanduku
Kanduku
5 months ago

Somebody call those 5 concourt cats and cross examine them on their fraudulent ruling. Concourt need to be sued for negligence of duty

Concerned malawian
Concerned malawian
5 months ago
Reply to  Kanduku

But these are the same judges that rebuffed mpinganjira and co when they offered millions in bribes to them. So why are you screaming on top of your voice accusing these judges. If you had morals you would be here lambasting DPP and mpinganjira for doing what you hate. That is bribery. That is assuming that you hate bribery in the first place

Mtambo
Mtambo
5 months ago

They got a heft bribe from Simbi to do MCP and UTM bidding

Okay
Okay
5 months ago

Judiciary won’t try mpinganjira because they know the lie. It was part of their scheme in order to divert peoples attention from where actual fraud was happening. The only fraud worth talking about is the concourt ruling. The ruling contravenes the electoral laws unless of course the laws are amended. Clever president we have for withholding assent but we are yet to see the mother of all frauds in the supreme courts. Even chief justice said last week that the judiciary is corrupt, to me he meant every word and am not expecting justice on this election case.

dyanayekuhker
dyanayekuhker
5 months ago

The 5 Judges cant be sued and that is childish thinking.The Judges ruling is final

Joni
Joni
5 months ago
Reply to  Kanduku

Actually……we are waiting for Mpinganjira’s case first for attempting to bribe them and should be cross-examined why and that he was trying to do that for whom..though we know it was for DPP…a party of thieves, bribers and judge ‘insulters.’.. pano mukuwafunanso and expect favours from them…

Mtonga Mwana
Mtonga Mwana
5 months ago
Reply to  Kanduku

Please go ahead, uwone nyekwe yama bill. Paja umbuli si defence kkkkkk

N one
5 months ago

So prolific that he wanted South Africans to help him.

The Patriot
The Patriot
5 months ago
Reply to  N one

I am honestly laughing on why calling him prolific 😂😂😂😂. Anyway the judges really made some blunders

Rahim
Rahim
5 months ago
Reply to  The Patriot

this5 judges were already took money from opposition b4 that propergander of mpinganjila

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