Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu has spoken on the legality of making “regime change” calls, saying it is “unconstitutional” and may only divide the country but a constitutional law expert Edge Kanyongolo, who is lecturer at University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, has differed.
Some delegates at the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) Sixth All-Inclusive Stakeholders Conference in Blantyre demanded the removal of President Peter Mutharika.
But Tembenu said it was important that the country’s constitution should be respected at all times.
“It is the constitution that is above all of us and everybody else and so it needs to be taken into consideration at all times,” he said.
Said Tembenu: “Indeed if a doctor finds a patient has a tumour he will not prescribe that the remedy should be to chop off the head.
“What do you mean when you say change the crew? Any proposition that you can change regimes or anything other than constitutional means us something I don’t agree with, and must be looked at carefully.”
He called on proponents of regime change to resist that, saying Malawi is a nation that chose constitutionalism “and it is the Constitution that is above all of us and everything.”
However, in his legal opinion, a constitutional law expert Kanyongolo said there is nothing illegal with citizen merely expressing themselves by calling the President to resign.
Kanyongolo said it would only be illegal if the regime change is done in unlawful means.
“Calling for a President to resign is a legitimate exercise of the Constitution,” said Kanyongolo.
He noted that freedom of expression is also enshrined in the country’s constitution.
During the PAC conference, self-acclaimed leader of People’s Land Organisation Vincent Wandale and human rights activist Billy Mayaya demanded the resignation of President Mutharika.
The same calls were made during PAC’s All-Inclusive Stakeholder Conference last year by People’s Party (PP) third vice-president Kamlepo Kalua and former spokesperson Ken Msonda, now in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) camp.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :