Malawi: DPP Holds Anti-Constitutional Court Protests in Zomba

A protester holds a placard during post-election demonstration in the capital Lilongwe, Malawi, pushing for the resignation of electoral commission leader Jane Ansah (file photo).
19 February 2020

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) faithful have Wedesday hit the streets in Zomba in a new wave of protests against the February 3 landmark Constitutional Court election case ruling which annulled the May 21 presidential election.

The court also ordered a fresh presidential election in July.

DPP secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey, presidential aide Francis Mphepo and the regional governor for the eastern region Julius Paipi were leading the demonstrations.

The party has since asked the Anti-Corruption Bureau to investigate allegations that the five Constitutional Court judges received money from a construction mogul Simbi to to influence the ruling in favour of Malawi Congress Party president Dr Lazarus Chakwera and UTM president Dr Saulos Chilima who were petitioners in the case.

Simbi Phiri, Chilima and Chakwera deny the allegations and Phiri has threatened a legal suit against the DPP on the matter.

The petition reads in part: "DPP is also worried about allegations that some judges of the Constitutional Court received bribes and were involved in corrupt dealings in order to bend the judgement in favour of the petitioners. We are ready and willing to furnish information and also to testify on such malpractice.

"Therefore, we call for an investigation for the five judges to be probed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau on the bribery allegations."

In the petition, DPP--which was not a party in the case but its leader President Peter Mutharika was the first respondent by virtue of being the declared winner of the annulled election--also demands a probe into alleged family relations between Judge Dingiswayo Madise and the country's Vice-President Saulos Chilima who was the first petitioner as presidential candidate of UTM Party.

ACB spokesperson Egrita Ndala said it was too early to comment on the issue.

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