Malawi: Women Lawyers Call for Acceptance of Malawi Election Case Verdict

7 December 2019

Women Lawyers Association of Malawi has added to the calls for Malawians to accept and respect the ruling of the court on the deputed May 21, 2019 presidential elections results case.

Women Lawyers Association members

The association's Coordinator for Research and Advocacy, Bernadette Malunga said this in an interview after conclusion of the court's hearing of the case on Friday morning.

Malunga said Malawians should remain patient while maintaining peace during the tense period as the court moves closer to giving its verdict on the case that has been running since August 8, 2019.

"As we all know that courts work independently, and in the end the judges will have to give a ruling based on the evidence and the provisions of the applicable laws.

"As such, Malawians need to prepare to accept and respect the ruling that the court will make once all the remaining procedures are finalised," Malunga said.

Malunga also called on all the stakeholders to encourage their constituents to respect the outcome of the case regardless of whether it will be in their favour or not.

"Our interest in this case as women lawyers comes in because the case involves the issue of human rights of everyone, including women and children," she said.

She further said her association, which joined the case as Friends of Court because the matter involves human rights of all Malawians including women and children, had been impressed with how the hearing of the case had progressed, given the large volumes of documents that the court had to consider.

"we have done very well. We did not manage the time very well in the beginning, but the judges kept on revising and giving fresh directions which enabled us to progress well, especially in the final days, when we progressed at good speed," Malunga said.

One of the local people who has been patronising the case since it commenced, Enerst Makalani of Chinsapo in Lilongwe also called upon Malawians to respect whatever the outcome of the case, regardless of whether it will be favourable to their side.

"The court's ruling is court's ruling. Courts give judgement based on how they have seen the case, so I would like to just call upon all Malawians to respect the ruling when it comes, regardless of whether it will be favourable to their side or not," Makalani said.

Similar calls have been made by various stakeholders including the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, Public Affairs Committee, National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE), political experts and others.

Three weeks ago, NICE launched a sensitisation campaign on preparing the citizens for the outcome of the election court case.

The constitutional court, sitting at the high court in Lilongwe Friday completed hearing the case in which UTM candidate Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party candidate Lazarus Chakwera challenged the election of Democratic Progressive Party candidate Arthur Peter Mutharika in the May 21, 2019 Presidential elections.

The case has been going on since August 8, 2019.

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