Court nullifies Commissioners’ appointment

The High Court in Lilongwe has nullified the appointment of four MEC Commissioners from the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda delivered the judgment on Wednesday in a case Malawi Congress Party (MCP) sued the office of the president for appointing four Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) commissioners.

MCP Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka, though Lawyer Abison Chitukula, wanted the High Court to declare the appointment of commissioners Jean Mathanga, Linda Kunja, Steve Duwa and Arthur Nathulu illegal.

MCP had argued in the application filed on March 29, 2021 in Lilongwe that the president acted contrary to the law when he appointed only Anthony Mukumbwa and Olivia Mchaju-Liwewe of its nominees, instead of three.

Mkaka: sued President Chakwera

MCP’s argument centred on Section 4 of the amended Electoral Commission Act of 2017 which empowers parties that obtain one-tenth of the parliamentary seats submit to the president a minimum of three nominees.

Reading his judgment, judge Kenyatta Nyirenda said the law compelled the President to appoint three commissioners each from MCP and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) but he appointed 4 from DPP and 2 from MCP.

Nyirenda also ordered that MCP should resubmit the nomination of Richard Chapweteka, who was removed as a Commissioner nominated by MCP when Mutharika appointed the commissioners, to the President within seven days.

Walking out from the court room

Meanwhile, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) says it is waiting for a legal advice from the Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe on the implications of the nullification of appointment of four of its commissioners.