Open letter to Malawi Law Society on constitutionality of lockdown

Dear MLS president Burton Chindongondo Mhango,

Malawi Law Society (MLS), a body of which you’re it’s President, comments on public issues to do with the law and has locus standi to move the courts to protect the constitution with respect to section 15 of the constitution.

Malawi Law Society president Burton  Chindongondo Mhango

I remember when late President Bingu wa Mutharika had passed to glory, the then MLS President Gift Mwankhwawa, fearlessly conducted a forceful press conference saying they will not allow anything unconstitutional.

This was the period  DPP politicians were staging mid-night press conference to block Joyce Banda from ascending to the Presidency and as we would later learn via the report of commission of inquiry into the death of the president, this was the time when the current President, Peter Mutharika, was cajoling the then Army General Henry Odillo to just take over the government.

Now we are in a similar situation, President Mutharika via his Minister of Health has announced a lockdown. This is a lockdown which is derogating rights of Malawians, for example right to freedom of movement or to freely engage in economic activities as provided for under section 39 and 29 of the constitution respectively.

These rights, I contend, can only be derogated not via a Health Minister lockdown but via the President declaring a state of emergency as per section 45 of the constitution.

The Health Minister’s subsidiary laws which formed the basis of the lockdown are clearly against section 58 of the constitution as they are affecting rights of Malawians as enshrined in the constitution.

Malawi Constitution  as per section 5 and section 199 is the supreme law of the land. A statute and/or indeed subsidiary laws are inferior to the constitution as per section 48(2) of the constitution.

How come then that Malawi Law Society is quite on this blatant circumvention and/or manipulation of the law. Is the lockdown, in the context in which it has been declared where rights of people are being affected constitutional against the background that no state of emergency has been declared as is provided for under section 45 of the constitution?

I and indeed many other Malawians need your (MLS) position on this matter whether in support of the position taken by the regime, if you think they are working within the confines of the law, or indeed a different position if you think the court sanctioned Peter Mutharika administration is manipulating the law for political expedience.

Get me right, I am not against putting measures to fight coronavirus. I am just interested in making sure that the constitution is being adhered to whilst making such measures. So far, am not convinced that President Mutharika is acting within the law.

It would be dereliction of your duties on your part or indeed on the part of MLS, which many think dances to the tune of this government, to stay quite as you are doing on such serious issues.

Your urgent response on this issue will be greatly appreciated.

Sincerely and respectfully Yours,

Decenzo Banda

Senior Citizen

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Jose
Jose
10 months ago

Do we have law society or a bunch of selfish lawyers parading as the body for malawians yet serving individual self.Public servants of all times judge kenyatta 5 concourt judges 7 supreme court judges judge Charles mkandawire, ombudsman chioma humanrights commissioner.General of all times Nundwe.Mtambo Trapence and HRDC.God bless these souls for standing for truth integrity and professionalism without fear during this trying moment where some one and this greedy thinkless group think can break malawi.But malawians through God will win the battle in Jesus name.

Nasingwe
Nasingwe
10 months ago

psa koka

Observer
Observer
10 months ago

Let MLS join the injunction case in court, whichever side they want to be

Mbonga Matoga
Mbonga Matoga
10 months ago

Let the government go ahead with the lock down, I just hope that the government has enough money to compensate thousands of businesses up and down the country who will be suing the government for loss of business due to the unlawful lock down… Judge Kenyatta already warned the government over the use of these outdated laws that the government is using to run away from the general elections, laws that infringes upon the rights of its own citizens. Wake up DPP and smell the coffee……you have been warned. If I were you instead of fighting with the concourt ruling… Read more »

Nabanda
10 months ago

Things have fallen apart in Malawi

Kandulu
Kandulu
10 months ago

I see APM handed over to the International Criminals Court (ICC) in Hague very soon. An ICC warrant of arrest is coming for APM for human rights violations. All it will take is the Army or Police to lose their temper and open fire on innocent protesters. I really doubt that our parliament and judiciary is going to protect APM from an ICC warrant of arrest. I am sure even some DPP gurus will see his arrest as a way to solve DPP leadership problems. To remind APM very well that ICC can issue a warrant of arrest to a… Read more »

Junior citizen
Junior citizen
10 months ago
Reply to  Kandulu

I pray to God 🙏🙏 , let it be so.

nyopani
nyopani
10 months ago
Reply to  Kandulu

very true

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