By Chancy Namadzunda:
Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has described Dr Lazarus Chakwera’s Presidency as illegitimate following the rescission of the appointment of two Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Commissioners Linda Kunje and Jean Mathanga.
According to the party’s statement signed by Spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira, since the rescission of the appointment of Commissioners is operative as from the date of their appointment, namely, the 7th June 2020, “it is clear that as from that date up to now, we have not had a duly constituted Electoral Commission as required by Section 75 of the Constitution which would have been capable of organizing and conducting any elections in Malawi.”
“The consequence of the rescission is that the appointments were void ab initio. Commissioners Kunje and Mathanga participated in the electoral process that returned Dr Lazarus Chakwera as duly elected President of the Republic of Malawi.
“For avoidance of doubt, the effect of the rescission of the appointment is to undo, unmake, abrogate, annul and cancel the said appointments as from the date of their appointment and not just termination of employment of the two as Commissioners. Therefore, rescinding the said appointment immediately invalidates any and all decisions made by the Electoral Commission as from the 7th June 2020.
Mpinganjira said the party will be calling on the Courts to invalidate the 23rd June 2020 Presidential Elections on grounds of undue election because the electoral body was not duly constituted according to law and nullification of all the bye-elections conducted thereafter.
“Further, the Democratic Progressive Party calls upon Dr Lazarus Chakwera to leave the Office of President immediately. He has ceased to be a legitimately elected President of the Republic of Malawi because the election that elected him into office was presided over by an unconstitutional body. Our decision to pursue this course is underpinned by the Constitution which is the Supreme law of the land,” he said
Government through Secretary to the President and Cabinet Zangazanga Chikhosi fired embattled Mathanga and Kunje on Tuesday, April 13.
According to Chikhosi, the decision is upon the basis that the Supreme Court of Appeal found the two to be incompetent in its judgement on May 8, 2020.
“The rescission is on the basis that you were adjudged incompetent by the Supreme Court of Appeal on 8th May, 2020 in MSCA Constitutional Appeal no. 1 0f 2020 regarding the manner in which you handled the 2019 general elections.
“Consequently, by operation of the law and pursuant to section 75(3)(b) of the Constituon, your appointment was rendered defective, as you were disqualified for appointment as an Electoral Commissioner in the light of the Supreme Court determination” contends Chikhosi.