Voter registration suspension draws mixed reaction

Governing Democratic Progresssive Party (DPP) cadres and its alliance partners United Democratic Front (UDF)  have taken up in social media platforms to hail the government for decision to suspend the voter registration exercise for the July 2 fresh presidential election in the wake of the increased coronavirus patients in the country while opposition and law experts are cautions in their comments.

Justine Dzonzi: Fresh elections are court sancioned polls therefore Cabinet committee have no powers to disrupt the electoral process

The country recorded its first coronavirus death on Tuesday, a 60-year-old woman in Blantyre and the cases rose from five to eight within hours.

UDF president, who is also minister of Energy Atupele Muluzi also asked for electoral stakeholders to rethibk their position of going ahead with elections on July 2 amidst virus outbreak.

“In my humble view as president of the UDF, maybe it is time to have one common position on the fresg elections and Covid-19 by all  political [parties],” Muluzi wrote in his Facebook page.

Mac Tembo, a DPP zealot also said lives of people were more important than the election.

But law experts say MEC will have to seek permission and clearance from the courts to postpone the election.

Lilongwe-based legal expert Justice Dzonzi said the fresh elections are not the normal polls but court sanction vote, therefore, Special Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 have no legal mandate to “disrupt the electoral process” such as cancelling voter registrations.

He said the ideal situation would have been government persuading Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to summon a National Electoral Consultative Forum (Necof) for electoral stakeholders to deliberate on the idea and inform the court.

Dean of law at Chancellor College, Dr Dingiswayo Madise, also queried the Cabinet committee’s legal authority to suspend registration of voters.

”Does this committee have the power to suspend the registration exercise? Under what legal authority?

“The decision to suspend the voting registration exercise is reasonable in the circumstances of the Covid 19 pandemnic, even welcome.
However, in my view, the wrong institution has made the’order,’ considering further that the fresh election is court-sanction with specific ancillary orders,” said Madise.

Madise said the electoral body should have made that decision.

“Even in times of pandemic, the rule of law must prevail,” said Madise.

Opposition members were also cautions in their comments, saying government has rushed to make such a decision.

In a phone-in radio programme on Times, ‘Professor’ Muhamad Abutrika told host Brian Banda on Tuesday that government is “tactically running away from holding the fresh elections.”

Three coronavirus cases have been detected in the past hours, two in Blantyre and one in Chikhwawa, bringing the number of the cases to eight in the country.

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john phiri
john phiri
2 years ago

This a clear manifestation that people like madise have no interest of the masses at heart. they just want to see DPP out of their way. corona is real the day it stricks madise or one of your family members is when you come back to your sense of huma. it is like your eyes are clossed and what you want to see once open is APM out of power and Chakwera on power. your hetread is just too deep till you have forgotten your sense of huma.

Old timers
Old timers
2 years ago

Sensible ideas, and good comments is what we Malawians need now..n I really support people with sensible comments, the so called Judges thinks they are the best in the world and trying to undermine the executive body on whatever they decide of the wellbeing and health of Malawians,all is power hungry,let the covid 19 attack them, maybe they will come back to their senses. There is no solicitor on this pandemic, and don’t mislead people with your stupid laws, can you predict how many people will be affected with the Corona virus by those long queues in polling stations. My… Read more »

Hmariwa
Hmariwa
2 years ago

DPP came from UDF Kachipani ka Muluzi Tambwali weni weni.All Judges are surprised now that when the Court sets for hearing Muluzi says MZANA WANGA INE CHINDODO M’MANJA. mbamva yeni yeni

Joloza
2 years ago

I pray that the so called law experts must be attacked by the disease so that they can appreciate the gravity of Covid 19. I dont know why we prioritise law at the expense of life. Kodi chofunika kwambiri NDI lamulo kapena anthu? Kodi ma court aku Malawi ndiye Kuti amadziwa malamulo kwambiri kuposa ma court onse adziko lapansi amene apanga quarantine anthu komanso kulepheretsa masankho? How special is Malawi elections that it can’t be cancelled? Should we go with the elections preparations because we want to please few people who are power hungry? God forbid. Life is like water… Read more »

dyanayekuhker
dyanayekuhker
2 years ago
Reply to  Joloza

TIBVOTE BASI . COVID -19 SIMASEWERA AYI MABVUTO ALIPO OMABE TIBVOTE AFUNA APEZE KOTHAWIRA.ndiye U president agwiriire Speaker

Mtete
Mtete
2 years ago

Wait a minute. No one is saying voter registration shouldn’t have been stopped. It is the way orders were issued, i.e. willynilly. There must be an orderly way of doing things and Mhango had no mandate. MEC should have been informed to urgently issue a notice.

Cairo
Cairo
2 years ago

In Botswana, the government has postponed the much awaited by-elections because its a threat to the fight against the covid-19 efforts. There are also other countries who have so far postponed elections which demonstrates how serious they are to protect their people, osati inuyo who are not serious. Zichitani zibwana choncho muzamva nkhwanga iri mutu. What the government has done is just the right thing and they have the heart of the people. I remember one of the reknowned Malawi National Team coaches, he told his players in those years that, ” when you miss the ball, dont miss the… Read more »

Chittanooga
Chittanooga
2 years ago
Reply to  Cairo

The State of Winscosin in USA went ahead to conduct elections to elect a challenger to challenge Trump in the Nov. 2021 elections. Governor of that State had shifted the elections to June 2020 but the Federal Supreme Court accepted an application from stakeholders that electing a challenger should take place now so long that measures are taken in view of the coronavirus pandemic. Voters were chosing between Biden and Saunders.

good
good
2 years ago
Reply to  Chittanooga

In Wisconsin azayimanso pa mzere or it’s electronic.

Joseph Banda
Joseph Banda
2 years ago

So Absurd and Stupid arguments. We need to RETRAIN OUR LAYWERS AND JUDGES in Malawi. I THOUGHT YOU HAD MIXED REACTIONS ON THE BANNING OF CHURCH GATHERINGS? Shupiti zanu

braveheart
2 years ago

Issue ya Corona ilinso ndi za Court?Look around the world governments have taken away their people’s Rights whether they like it or not.Sono ma court/judge apa Malawiwa Iwo ali special dziko lonse la pansi.Thus what we call ma judge/court apa Malawi they R ‘Acting like a big fish in a pond’!shame! how funny when people R hungry for power.However even if elections were to be held today this violent,criminal opposition would be crashed to defeat! Just thank corona it has saved the opposition big time humiliation&go to hell!

Levious
2 years ago
Reply to  braveheart

Mantha kuopa kuluza a buluzi a Devil Peoples Party ndi mbava zanuzo za UDF zomwe zinalimira nseu Mtalika.
A chulewa a DPP kuumilira pampando pomwe nthawi yanu yatha
Corona yo pasakhale chothawirapo abali inu
Peter is an interim leader same to Chilima
Malawi needs a unique leader now more than b4
Tivote kuchotsa virus yokupha imene ili Devil Peoples Party and UDF kuposa coronayu
Catch may words that Malawi is not for (M) brothers mwina manyi brothers
Muluzi ndi Mtalika don’t taste our anger b4 fire burns Mallawi.
Your time is over agaluinu

Noxy
2 years ago

This is total nonsense Corona virus is here and then we must go gather in places where it is so infectious.When an earthquake strikes do you ask the con court judge to tell you to run away.This is madness why are we praising judges that will allow Chinese to enter Malawi without quarantine.And they will say start campaigning total madness.That Ministerial special commit is moving swiftly to curb this pandemic they must go ahead this is for the people of Malawi not the judges that cannot be dignified.Go ahead Chair Mhango am very much impressed with your committee everyday you… Read more »

Jamax
Jamax
2 years ago

Fellow Malawians let’s not take this issue lightly surely it’s deadly – if the richest countries in this world are crying and panicking to see people dying like (Nkhuku zachitopa) adding on this most of these countries have taken a stringest prevention measure of locking down, anyone seen to be moving is beaten up – now my question is who are we that we can not follow the simple precautionary measures that our goverment is trying to put in place???????????? who are we as poor as we are????? by the way what do we lose if we do not vote… Read more »

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