MEC commissioners Kunje, Mathanga should get letters of appointment: AG says its ‘neater and mature political pragmatism’

Attorney General Dr. Chikosa Silungwe  gave a legal opinion to Office of President and Cabinet  to formally write appointment letters for two Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Commissioners Linda Kunje and Jean Mathanga.

MEC chairperson Dr Chifundo Kachale with Commissioners Linda Kunje and Jean Namathanga.
Commissioner Kunje: Government has disregarded a legal opinion by Attorney General
Commissioner Jean Mathanga: Government has disregarded a legal opinion by Attorney General

Kunje and Mathanga were part of the MEC Commissioners who administered the May 21 2019 Presidential Election that was nullified by five judges of the High Court sitting as a Constitutional Court in Lilongwe.

The two commissioners were reappointed by the former president Peter Mutharika as commissioners of MEC after the expiry of their initial term. They were reappointed against the findings and recommendations of the Public Appointments Committee of Parliament to dismiss them before the expiry of their initial terms.

Secretary to the President and Cabinet Zangazanga Chikhosi sought legal advice from the AG on legality of the reappointment and whether government was bound to comply with their reappointment and whether there was any other legal remedy in dealing with the matter.

In his legal opinion, Silungwe advised OPC to respect the reappointment of the two commissioners and that formal letters for their reappointment should be written i.

“I submitted an opinion regarding Commissioner Kunje and Commissioner Mathanga to the Office of the President and Cabinet under the cover of my letter of 20 August, 2020.

“I have enclosed the opinion. In sum, I opined that when all the facts are considered, Government must opt to be bound by the appointment of the reconstituted Electoral Commission. I am fortified that this is neater and mature political pragmatism,” reads the opinion addressed to MEC Chairperson Justice Chifundo Kachale and copied to the Secretary to the President and Cabinet.

The letter is dated September 28, 2020 and has reference number MJCA/AG/081.

The letter adds: “I urge the Secretary to the President and Cabinet, who is in copy, to formally write Commissioner Kunje and Commissioner Mathanga on their appointment.”

Silungwe tells OPC that the them President Mutharika was entitled to disregard the recommendations of PAC and let the Commissioners until the expiry of their term of office in June 2020.

He adds: “While the remedy of judicial review remains available, it must not be used.”

But government has disregarded a legal opinion by Attorney General clearyly defying the Hi-5 political mantra of President Lazarus Chakwera to respect the rule of law.

Kunje and Mathanga were recommended by the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

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Gar
Gar
5 months ago

The Ag is right technically.He is looking ahead.
The morally correct thing is to remove the incompetent commissioners and not reappoint them.Moreover these are relics from the corrupt government . what example is being made here. From where im standing there seems to be a stalemate but the government has the resourses to win.

Nalingula
Nalingula
5 months ago

We are not a Serious Country these People were part of a Team that Blew Billions because of their incompetency in administering an Election …And we Still want to Reward them ….What a joke …

Hawell
5 months ago

What should be known is that Mathanga nad Kunje are not on the wrong. The administration of Chakwera is just there to frustrate his predecessor. Look here these commissioners who are so called incompetent are the same commissioners who endorsed their signatures when Chakwera won the 2020 elections. My view is if chakwera in all his fairness sees Mathanga and Kunje as incompetent he(Chakwera) should accept that he did not won the elections. This is so because the electoral act stipulates all the commissioners ought to endorse signatures on any elections to be announced be it local, parliamentary or presidential.… Read more »

Assange
5 months ago

The AG and other defense lawyers ask the constitutional court to remove the commissioners because they were incompetent. This was a recommendation to Parliament and Parliament met and declared the commissioners incompetent. The halfwit APM ndi mwano wake uja appoint the same incompetent women. Is the AG really thinking? Can he remember what he asked the court during the hearing? Zinazi when they leak is a disapproval of the wrong opinions. Do not complain about the leakages of whatever you are writing Chikosa Mozesi Silungwe.

Mwini muzi
Mwini muzi
5 months ago

Silungwe’s opinion is in good faith for the country. His reasons can be a platform for Mathanga and Kunje to pursue a bitter legal battle should they be fired.

Khekhi
Khekhi
5 months ago
Reply to  Mwini muzi

Exactly! Simple logic.. unless if they find a legal loophole in the contract.. Perhaps this is an eye opener to review the applicable electoral law and make amendments to avoid incompetent people staying in a position to avoid a costly legal battle…

mtete
mtete
5 months ago

It does not add up. Here are two individuals found to be incompetent by a parliamentary committee and AG says they should be reappointed Commissioners. Wonders shall never end. We will learn a lot by the time this Tonse Alliance government is five years old.

Mikoko
5 months ago

Malawians have lost integrity. They leak everything, exams and government secret documents alike. Shame! However, yes I agree with silungwe that Mathanga et al. must be formally appointed. And Chakwera has no legal mandate to deny the appointment of Mathanga and Kunje. Or else Lazaro must be impeached!!

Khima
Khima
5 months ago

Dr Silungwe simulimbapo a Malawi anazolowela kugwila ntchito mwaufitifiti eee nothing about Pragmatism or Professionalism.

You mad
You mad
5 months ago
Reply to  Khima

Nanunso pitani uko ndi ufiti wanuwo

Wakwiya ndi kadeti
5 months ago

Attorney General uyu is very controversial. Those on interdiction should be paid whether they stole money or not. The incompetent commissioners should be given letters of appointment. The issue of K750 million to Christopher Makileni is also connected to him. Musova ku State House.

Mwinithako
Mwinithako
5 months ago

Haaa muli vasilu kkk.Mlekani Silungwe yuja mukamuvika mwekkaaa kkk

Koka
Koka
5 months ago

Dear AG,

It is not pragmatism nor mature politics. It is foolishness, arrogance, suicidal and improper. While Biden is clearing the nasty Trump ideologies by removing Trump’s cronies from positions of influence, the AG and Chakwera are promoting the DPP ideologies. It is called cut-throat politics. Tonse will never learn, digging their own grave even deeper. The signs are there for all to see, how frustrated people are with the Tonse thing.

As the old saying goes, hyenas are never chameleons and will never change colour regardless of the environment.

Mwinithako
Mwinithako
5 months ago
Reply to  Koka

Haaa mulivasilu,kkkMlekani Silungwe mukamuvika mwekha nad for your information Silungwe nga Chilima not MCP kkk

Izizi
Izizi
5 months ago
Reply to  Koka

I agree. I am not sure this AG has the stamina to support this government into a transformative agenda. I think he is behaving cowardly. Or is it that he is trying to be a hero. This is not heroism, but madness. Can you please give opinions that are realistic. Let us turn around the tables. Assuming that retrogressive party DPP was in government now and the two disgruntled commissioners were for MCP, would you have given this senseless opinion Mr. AG. Grow up.

Mussa
Mussa
5 months ago
Reply to  Izizi

[email protected] it is not about growing up it is about law’s that says silungwe is okay sakupanga zammutu koma malamulo

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