Malawi: DPP Petitions ACB to Investigate 5 Judges - Fresh Elections Ruling Dubbed 'Fraudulent'

President Peter Mutharika (file photo).
17 February 2020

The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Monday marched peacefully in Blantyre City in a 'march for the Restoration of Democratic Justice' and presented their petition to Blantyre City Council (BCC) demanding the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to investigate all the five judges who presided over the presidential election nullification petition.

DPP secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey presents the petition to BCC chief executive officer Alfred Chanza. Brown Mpinganjira part of the 'march for the Restoration of Democratic Justice' calling the Constitutional Court ruling to nullify elections as "fraudulent." Supporters of DPP presented their petition to Blantyre City Council marking the end of their 'march for the Restoration of Democratic Justice.'

In the petition, the DPP has asked the ACB to investigate all the five judges --Healey Potani, Ivy Kamanga, Redson Kapindu, Dingiswayo Madise and Mike Tembo-- of the Constitutional Court who nullified the May 21 2019 presidential election.

The demand follows ACB action in arresting business mogila Thom Mpinganjira on allegations of attempts to corrupt the judges.

In the march in Blantyre which attracted throungs of DPP supporters, saw among marchers veteran politician and DPP stawart Brown Mpinganjira, a relation to Thom Mpinganjira, who has also been alleged to be connected to the attempt bribery saga, taking part.

The DPP petition addressed to ACB director general Reyneck Matemba wants the graft-busting body to investigate the judges in the matter if their ruling had no any external forces.

Former Cabinet minister Henry Mussa read the petition surrounded by presidential aide Francis Mphepo, lawmakers Chimwemwe Chipungu and Sameer Suleman, party top officials Mpinganjira and Hophmally Makande.

Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda in December last year lodged a written complaint to the bureau that there were attempts to bribe two of the judges.

Danwood Chirwa, a law professor at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, said judges always face bribery tests and this was the reason the Constitution guaranteed their independence, security of tenure and their welfare.

Chirwa said the goal was to create the foundation for disrespecting the judgement of the Constitutional Court, saying they were also targeting the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal at the same time for exactly the same reason.

Alliance Against Serious and Organised Corruption asked the ACB to deal with allegations of bribery attempts effectively and transparently as the investigation into the matter would not only be tackling the alleged corruption, but also defending the integrity of concerned judicial process.

In a letter to Matemba, the alliance's executive director Moses Mkandawire asked the ACB to appoint an external monitor from abroad who can also be a liaison to the civil society organisations.

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