Legal experts are faulting president Lazarus Chakwera for disregarding advice from the Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe on the firing of two Malawi Electofal Commissioners (MEC) which has led to lack of coordination on the issue surrounding the employment status of Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje.
The Office of the President and Cabinet on Tuesday announced its decision to rescind the appointments of Mathanga and Kunje as MEC commissioners on the basis of incompetence.
The two were reappointed to the commission by former president Peter Mutharika despite their previous cohort being tagged as incompetent by both parliament and the courts.
Identical letters signed by Secretary to the President and Cabinet Zangazanga Chikhosi stress that by operation of the law and pursuant to a Constitutional provision, the duo’s appointments are rendered defective.
Commenting on the development, Chancellor College law professor, Garton Kamchedzera, contends that the country’s highest office is using the law to bring confusion.
Associate Law Professor at the Chancellor Collage Edge Kanyongolo also indicates that the matter shows that the high office, apart from the Attorney General – who is government chief legal advisor – is also outsourcing legal counsel.
Kanyongolo adds that if the government is seeking legal advice from elsewhere, there is a need to make a public declaration of the same.
Meanwhile, in his latest legal advice on the matter, Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe indicates that following the removal of the two from the commission, the rest of their cohort cannot proceed to execute their duties.
Commenttaors have since said the situation creates a room for deep divisions in the Tonse Alliance led government especially between key partners Malawi Congress Party (MCP) of Chakwera and UTM Party of vice president Saulos Chilima.
Political commentator Humphrey Mvula observed: “What is happening in the Tonse Alliance administration simply shows that the leaders did not sit down to create a template on how ti run the government.
“If the Attorney General’s advice is not being taken and the Secretary to President and Cabinet comes in to do the contrary, it means he [Zangazanga Chikhosi] is doing what the President wants.”
Meanwhile, State house has confirmed an earlier report by Nyasa Times that Chakwera met AG Silungwe over the MEC decision to suspend its operations.
Presidential press secretay Brian Banda said the meeting took place on Wednesday but did not provide details despiting confirming they discusses “the implications of MEC’s decision to suspend its operations.”
Both Chakwera and Chilima have kept the alliance’s terms of the agreement close to their chest.
The two leaders have also not commented on the visible divisions within the alliance despite their supporters publicly insulting each other and praising their respective leaders, mostly on social media.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :