Malawi: Chokhotho to Represent MEC - Chief Justice Rejects Admission of South Africa Lawyers

13 April 2020

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) suffered yet another blow on Monday after Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda dismisses the application for admission of the two South African Lawyers Dumisa Buhle Ntsebeza and Elizabeth Makhanani Baloyi-Mere to represent the electoral body in the presidential election case appeal at Malawi Supreme Court.

There were reports that the lawyers sneaked in the country on Sunday but MEC'S Director of Legal Services, David Matumika Banda, said their foreign lawyers were not in the country to be part of the application to allow them represent MEC in the appeal case.

They reportedly presented themselves to the Malawian Embassy in South Africa where they wanted to participate in the case through video teleconferencing.

In his determination, Justice Nyirenda ruled that it is against the law for lawyers to represent MEC when they are in another country.

This means , MEC's lawyer hired from private practice, Tamando Chokotho will represent the electoral body when the appeal case begins on Wednesday.

MEC chairperson Jane Ansah--who is also a judge in the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal-- said the commission hired the foreign lawyers to defend the May 2019 presidential election results that the High Court of Malawi sitting as the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) nullified on February 3 2020 after most local lawyers who were approached turned down.

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