19 June 2019

Malawi: Mutharika's Lawyer Mbeta Hopes Constitution Court Will Discontinue Election Case

Private practice lawyer Frank Mbeta, who is representing President Peter Mutharika, the first respondent in the election case where the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera and UTM president Saulos Chilima are demanding justice over the May 21 2019 poll results, is hoping the Constitution court will dismiss the case.

Lawyer Frank Mbeta representing the President wants the court to throw out the opposition applications MCP's lawyer Titus Mvalo ( This car was centre of attraction at court because of its registration number plate 'Madando' UTM officials at the court

Chilima and Chakwera are challenging disputing the May 27 Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) declaration of Mutharika as winner of the presidential race, claiming that elections were rigged.

The two cited irregularities, especially in the results management process, as some of the factors justifying nullification of the presidential election.

But Mbeta said after a Constitution court hearing on Wednesday that they have made plausible arguments to have applications by MCP and UTM be dismissed and matter discontinued.

"The petitions are irregular and they must be thrown out of court," Mbeta told journalists in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

Another private practice lawyer Chancy Gondwe, a member of Mutharika's legal team, among others, submits that the petition by Chilima, who is the first petitioner in the case, is irregular and incompetent.

MCP lead Counsel, Titus Mvalo said: "The argument is that fees were underpaid like fining fee, instead of paying K21 000 we paid K13 000, therefor, the case be dismissed. But this could not be the rightful excuse for quashing the case."

The court is expected, among other things, to decide whether hearing should proceed following an application by Mutharika asking the court to throw out opposition applications against the election results for allegedly being irregular, defective and lacking sworn affidavits by the petitioners.

Unlike on the first hearing day on June 14 when the court complained of noise interference during court proceedings, on this day (Wednesday) there was order as party supporters were not allowed to get nearer the court premises.

Chakwera and his running mate in the ended election Sidik Mia, and former vice-president Khumbo Kachale were among those present at the court among other MCP supporters.

The case has since been adjourned to Friday, June 21 2019 when the judges will rule on preliminary objections.

The five-judge panel comprises Healey Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Ivy Kamanga and Redson Kapindu.

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