Mutharika labels PAC proposal to fire MEC as ‘laughable’: Malawi leader justifies withholding consent

President Peter Mutharika has said the recommendation by members of Parliament’s Public Appointments Committee (PAC) to fire Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners—including embattled chairperson Jane Ansah—for alleged incompetence and mismanagement of the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections,  is  “specious and laughable.”

President Mutharika smile with the First Lady: PAC position specious and laughable

 

Mutharika said in a statement issued by Presidential Press Secretary Mgeme Kalilani explaining the reasons why the President has not assented to the electoral commission amendment bill.

The President said he has withheld his assent to the bill because “it does not meet the tests of constitutionality and lawfulness and that it infringes on the principle of separation of powers with various arms of the government”

Mutharika said the PAC report has shortfalls, which he has cited, that relate to the right to lawful and procedurally fair administrative action under section 43 of the Constitution.

He said the parliamentary inquiry did not give the MEC commissioners enough time to prepare for the meeting and that in the recommendations to the President PAC did not include letters of invitation to commissioners summoning them to appear before the committee

“The letters of invitation to each Commissioner to a hearing are not disclosed in the report; The Commissioners were apparently not given adequate time to prepare for the hearing. At law, there is need to give individuals adequate time to prepare to attend to inquiries,” said Mutharika, a professor of law.

He further argues that the report does not indicate whether the commissioners were given any particulars of incompetence or incapacity.

“The report does not disclose whether the Commissioners were given the right to bring lawyers to represent them at the hearings. The report has failed to establish that members of the committee, individually and collectively lack competence and capacity,” said Mutharika.

According to Mutharika, the PAC report does not factor in the role that stakeholders played in agreeing with the Commissioners on procedural issues and forms to be used and puts the whole blame on Commissioners, “hence its findings are questionable.”

Apparently, Mutharika pointed out that the electoral body had “the competence and capacity to manage the local and parliamentary elections but lacked the competence and capacity to manage the presidential elections.  I find this position specious and laughable.”

PAC public inquiry that assessed the competences of MEC members was ordered by the Constitutional Court on February 3, when  the five-judge panel of the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court  nullified the presidential election in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.

Mutharika said PAC could as well have been “prejudiced”   by the findings of the Constitution Court, and said since the judgement is under appeal, and in light of the reasons he has outlined, he rejects Committee’s recommendation that he should fire the members of the Commission including the chairperson.

The five-judge panel comprising Healey Potani, Mike Tembo, Ivy Kamanga, Redson Kapindu and Dingiswayo Madise, unanimously upheld a petition to nullify the election and tasked Parliament to facilitate the reconstruction of MEC which was found to have been “grossly incompetent”.

The Constitutional Court declared the commissioners incompetent in the discharge of their duties of  managing election.

PAC has a membership of 21, including chairperson, and comprises six legislators from the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), six independents, five from main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), two from United Democratic Front (UDF) and one each for People’s Party (PP) and UTM Party.

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Malawi belong to the citizens
Guest

Peter Munthalika is a dictator.

Lego
Guest

Anzeru ndinu

Wachiyao
Guest
Wachiyao

I have two things to say here: 1. It is being said over and over again that the court and PAC are failures because the MEC which conducted the presidential election is the same one that conducted the parliamentary and Local Government one. So the argument is that if the presidential election was nullified because it was poorly managed then the other two should have been nullified as well. Those who are saying this are mentally bankrupt. The matter which was taken to court was for the presidential election, so the court dealt with that. The judges and PAC could… Read more »

Citizen Number 1
Guest
Citizen Number 1

Mutharika is in contept of court. Show him that he is not above the law! He is very arrogant

Citizen Number 1
Guest
Citizen Number 1

“If there is no justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government!” Emiliano Zipata

Mina
Guest
Mina

Laughable indeed to you the dpps @147 complaints mps too were there and others won the cases after taken to court you just wanted everything to go your dirty ways Mr tippex you don’t like the truth you even not love Malawi you are just greedy leader

Chiombagaga
Guest
Chiombagaga

This PAC is insane and laughable indeed. Munthu sunganene Mai all kuti sabereka Pamene iweyo unabadwa mwa maiwo. Ndi wamisala yekha yemwe angapange izi. The MEC which PAC says is incompetent is the same MEC that facilitated for them to be members of PAC now. Zomwe anachita a PAC ndichimodzimodzi kunena Mai all kuti ndi wosabereka, MISALA. PAC isatipusitse, it is being used by opposition.

mchisala
Guest
mchisala

Mutharika has yet again exposed his ignorance and lack of understanding of both governance and employment laws and confirmed suspicions he is a ‘fake’ professor of laws!!! Proven incompetence or lack of ability at ones employment is one employment misconduct where the employer is allowed to SUMMARILY DISMISS AN EMPLOYEE (along with proven theft) because in law it is treated as MISREPRESENTATION (meaning, if it were not for your misrepresenting that you were competent in the job you would not have been employed for the job) and you can only fight ‘a show of incompetence’ by ‘disproving it’ or showing… Read more »

SAUNDERS
Guest
SAUNDERS

Talembani zomveka bwinobwino

Ambuje Kukaya
Guest
Ambuje Kukaya

APM is totally wrong. The issue of the MEC commissioners did not originate from PAC. The Concourt made a determination pointing out that the commissioners were incompetent. Why has he left out this fact in his argument. There is nothing laughable from PAC.

SAUNDERS
Guest
SAUNDERS

Please dont write as it pleases you! The ConCourt did not say the Commissioners were Incompetent, but asked Parliament to asses the Competence of the Commissioners, that is why Parliament asked their Parliamentary Appointments Committee to carry out the task. Please note Voting process , vetting and Administration of the Voting is done by the Chief Elections Officer and his staff. The Commissioners are like Board Members or Directors to approve or not approve and Question where they are not satisfied/ or feel the CEO has not followed the laid out laws Governing the elections. In our current scenario is,… Read more »

Mr Truth Pains
Guest

Is it laughable to fire MEC commissioners and not laughable to fire General Nundwe? Pali nzeru apa pa a President? Am very much in doubt with the leader we have if indeed he has any leadership in him. if u force yourself into leadership which u are not suppose to take or head the end result is like this Mr Muntharika . You always make abrupt decision without proper planning which without doubt might backfire. A leader should incorporate a common view from a layman point of view to over come unrest. Try to be a leader for once coz… Read more »

SAUNDERS
Guest
SAUNDERS

It is not correct to say that General Nundwe is fired, He is still a Government employee but assigned elsewhere. This is an Administrative matter, so Gen Nundwe loses nothing and may be the new Position will award him more than being an Army General Position. We should blame ourselves because we were dragging him too much into Political mess and some careless reporters were alleging that the General was sympathetic to the opposition. Unfortunately the Army do not comment on Political issues

Ambuje Kukaya
Guest
Ambuje Kukaya

This line of thinking is what is really laughable.

Lego
Guest

He has been fired.Do you understand English?

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