Revolutionary constitutionalism never treason, says lawyer:  Malawi Law Society guides Parliament

Revered private practice lawyer John-Gift Mwakhwawa has dismissed President Peter Mutharika’s threats of treason and call for Parliament to reverse the Constitutional Court and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal rulings which nullified his re-election last year as misplaced.

Makhwawa: We the people have power
Munthali: Any attempt to go against the court ruling is recipe for anarchy
Malawi Law Society president Burton Mhango:  Legal guidance to Parliament

Mutharika in his speech to Parliament on Friday via a video link indicated that he is considering postponing the election in disregard to the court order and warned that he would not accept to be removed from power – even by the court or the people power movement – describing such a prospect as treason.

But Mwakhwawa, a former Malawi Law Society (MLS) president in said: “Sorry President, revolutionary constitutionalism is never treason. We the people have power.”

Several legal minds have since dismissed as not true that the legislature is supreme above the Judiciary as Mutharika asserted, saying none of the three branches of government is superior to the other and they exist to provide checks and balances on each other.

Commentators have since pointed out that the President Mutharika’s tone has the potential to plunge the country into chaos.

Governance expert Makhumbo Munthali told Nyasa Times that President Mutharika’s continued undermining of the Courts is a threat to Constitutionalism.

“Adhering to and respect of Court’s decisions is a critical element of Constitutionalism and rule of law, and any attempt to go against the court is recipe for anarchy which no law abiding citizen would wish to have,” he said.

He pointed out that judicial accountability requires that those who are not happy with particular Court decisions should be given an opportunity to challenge such decisions through appealing to a higher court.

“And such an opportunity was granted to Mutharika, and Supreme Court still upheld the decision of the lower court. Being a court of the last resort and also in the spirit of constitutionalism and rule of law, what was expected of Mutharika is to respect the Court decision and move on,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Law Society has given parliament legal guidance note to focus on nation-building under the Constitution in a bid to ensure the fresh elections is held within 150 days from February 3 as the court ruled.

“MLS Calls upon Parliament to carefully read full final judgement of the Supreme Court, seek sound, independent and professional legal advice to understand it in accordance with the principals for interpreting Supreme Court judgements and to implement it within the spirit of the Constitutional Order it sustains to ensure free and fair fresh presidential elections,” reads part of the statement signed by entire MLS executive led by chairperson Burton Chidongondo Mhango.

The body said if the key legal guidelines and proposals regarding the setting of the date as expressed and set out in the Supreme Court are followed, there would be no constitutional crisis.

“If these basic and the strong recommendations and all directions from the court as well as the applicable constitutional and statutory provisions are  borne in  mind and followed logically, there is no constitutional crisis or any impending constitutional crisis at all.”

Parliament will meet for seven weeks from June 5 to July 24 for the Budget Meeting, which is also expected to tackle Electoral Reforms Bills to facilitate the holding of the court-sanctioned fresh presidential election.

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Mr Truth Pains
Guest

Let me remind Peter Muntharika that Atupele Muluzi and the entire UDF MPs knows that it’s only through Fresh Election that UDF and their Leader Atupele can remain relevant . They know very well that without going to Fresh Election then UDF is going down to ground Zero so they will support opposition MPs to pass the Bill for Fresh Election to go ahead. You are shocked to hear Bakili Muluzi pin pointing at his Son Atupele that he is going to be the next leader?? It was your own making so don’t cry. Atupele is campaigning tireless bcoz he… Read more »

Kandulu
Guest
Kandulu

”Operation Nyekhwe” is coming to liberate Malawi from traitor of our democracy and tyrant Peter. Troops have started arriving in Blantyre. On 3rd July midnight they will match to Sanjika palace and capture APM and hand him over to Courts for processing. Malawi shall be liberate region by region , district by district , house by house. Malawi shall be free once again from tyrant and dictatorship. Please those troops stationed at Sanjika do not fight back. Think about your families. Leave this old man alone. He has already bought a get away plane. So don’t die for him. Support… Read more »

Jesta
Guest
Jesta

Olo mutalemba Chizunga chotani. Munthu wakumudzi avotera DPP basi

Costly Mhongono
Guest
Costly Mhongono

Have you followed the issue under discussion? Kuphunzira mophutsula uku

H E Nyaphapi One
Guest

I have forgotten my comment on idiot. (I hope to remember it before his death)

Zoba
Guest
Zoba

😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

Mapwisi
Guest

If “we the people have the power” as mwakhwawa puts it then let us do referendum on constitutional amendment not leaving everything in the hands of stupid regime change judges and corrupt lawyers.

BENTBY
Guest

in parliament they already discussed this issue, parliament already voted for proceeding with elections, parliament already found Mec Ansah in wrong position in regards to last year election management. elections is only way to go.

Kandulu
Guest
Kandulu

We said that many times to Peter that instead of insulting the judges he should just call for a referendum but he refused and chose to launch a war with the judiciary, which has forced us to take up arms and defend our democracy against tyranny.

Thubu
Guest

Someone will end like bagbo of ivory cost

M'Malawi
Guest
M'Malawi

True, smell the coffee Pitala and your cronies, change is here

mtete
Guest
mtete

Whoever is advising APM to castigate the Judiciary or Parliament is doing him a disfavour and, in the process, making him ridiculous locally and internationally. Legal minds everywhere must be laughing their lungs out.

Mangochi Kabwafu
Guest
Mangochi Kabwafu

Nkhalamba yikudziwa kuti NYEKHWE is coming, otherwise he would have been happy to take the opposition on.

CHILIMA-COVIDIOT
Guest
CHILIMA-COVIDIOT

Aliyense polongosolera akukokela mbali yake
Pofunitsitsa kuti anthu amvetsetse
Chisankho chichitike
Cha PREZIDENT NDI APHUNGU OMWE
Osasemphanitsa
mmalongosoleredwe alionse

Its me Dr Ben Phiri, University of Mashonaland
Guest
Its me Dr Ben Phiri, University of Mashonaland

you are a political charlatan.

#NotMyPresident
Guest
#NotMyPresident

Anganga che Pitala Mutharika. Zipitani kwa America, apo ayi muona nyekhwe

Costly Mhongono
Guest
Costly Mhongono

The constitution of Malawi gives times for complainants to submit their case to the courts immediately after the elections. The time elapsed mwachedwatu

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