Senior traditional leaders from the Southern Region rebuffed the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which organized a news conference on Sunday where chiefs were supposed to attack and dress down the five judges of the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) who nullified last year’s presidential elections.
Nyasa Times has established that the chiefs, who were led by Paramount Chief Lundu, openly refused to attend the presser, arguing it was not in their interest to do so.
Lundu confirmed in a telephone interview on Monday that the botched presser was scheduled for 2pm at Chilembwe Lodge in Blantyre.
“Yes, I can confirm that the press briefing didn’t take place. The major reason for the failure was that we didn’t form a quorum,” he said.
Apart from Lundu, the briefing had lined up Paramount Kawinga, Senior Chiefs Kapeni, Chapananga, Malemia and Traditional Authority Nthache from Mwanza in attendance.
Lundu could not come out clear on the agenda of the news conference, saying the organzers did not tell them the agenda of the meeting.
When asked to mention the name of the organizer, the Paramount Chief said: “I don’t remember his name. He just rang me to say we should address the media. But he didn’t tell me the agenda.”
However, one of the chiefs confirmed that the agenda of the presser was to disparage the judges for nullifying the elections.
“It was a tricky issue. How do we go on the podium to attack the five judges simply because they delivered a judgment that didn’t please one of the parties to the case? That’s why some of us chose not to attend,” said the chief asked his name to be shielded for fear of reprisals.
Nyasa Times understands that Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), Capital FM, Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS), Mibawa and Times Media Group were some of the media houses that were mobilized to provide coverage at the briefing.
A source privy to the aborted media conference said the chiefs were invited by Paramount Lundu who was not then not sure of the contents of the statement from the party.
“The media arrived and set up their gadgets ready for the major story from the Chiefs who were meeting in the other room at the same venue but things changed after Lundu fished out the statement” said the source.
“After going through the document, one by one the Chiefs started excusing themselves not to participate. They feared the contents were a clear example of contempt of court, demeaning and an insult to the judiciary in Malawi,” he said.
After a unanimous decision, it is said the chiefs asked Senior Chief Kapeni to let go the media on the pretext that they were waiting for their counterparts from the Northern Region who had a problem with the vehicle they were traveling in.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :