Presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani has rejected assertions that President Peter Mutharika is attacking the judiciary , saying he is only expressing his right of opinion to the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal determination upholding the nullification of the May 21 2019 presidential election.
Kalilani said there is no arm of government which is sacred and immune from scrutiny, including the Judiciary.
He said just like judges express their opinions through judgements, the President, as a politician, uses public engagements to express his views.
“Let’s not confuse a fair opinion from an attack. The President did not attack the Judiciary, he merely expressed his opinion on their performance. And he is perfectly entitled to that,” said Kalilani.
Speaking during the Talk to the President Programme on State-run Malawi Broadcasting Station last Friday and during whistle-stop rallies in Thyolo on Monday, the President maintained that the judgements of the five judges of the High Court sitting as the Constitutional Court and the seven appeal judges who upheld the same were a travesty of justice and ridiculous.
Mutharika also accused the judges of practising “regime change” activities.
“The court did not follow the evidence and the law, and that to me it was a judicial coup de tat. That’s what it was that the court simply decided that they want to get rid of the government. It’s so obvious, it’s very clear,” said Mutharika.
In a published article on Nyasa Times, a columnist argued that of the three arms of government -The Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary – only the Executive and the Legislature are attacked every day by everyone including quacks in law and drunks in civil society.
Of the three, it is the Judiciary that seems to have obtained the rights from wherever to demonize and lord over the other two at will. It rarely takes criticism kindly.
“No one is allowed to hold an opinion that is different from what judges think. Or you are accused of interfering with or disrespecting the Judiciary and conspiring to defeat the ends of democracy and justice.Nothing can be more nonsensical!
“The Judiciary is by no means naturally free from any criticism or different opinion. It, too, runs on taxpayers money and it is in the firing line by anyone,” reads the article in part.
However, Malawi Law Society has said Mutharika—a professor of international law— should not express disquiet against the Judiciary through political podiums given that the Judiciary itself has no access to the political podium and political facilities to respond to the allegations thereby publicly expressed by the State President.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :