Some renowned political, legal and faith commentators have described Monday’s historic judgment of a presidential election case in Lilongwe as a triumph for Malawi democracy.
The judgment delivered by a five-judge panel of Healy Potani, Ivy Kamanga, Dingiswayo Madise, Mike Tembo and Redson Kapindu nullified last year’s (May 21) Presidential polls and ordered a fresh election to be held within 150 days.
Speaking in separate interviews after the court verdict, lawyer Justin Dzonzi, University of Malawi’s Chancellor College political analyst Ernest Thindwa and Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) General Secretary, Reverend Francis Mkandawire all described the judgment as victory for the nation.
“I think this judgment has a big meaning to Malawi, it demonstrates the country’s renewed hope that this is a country that can uphold the rule of law.
“It speaks of a nation that is ready to hear grievances from some quarters that feel aggrieved,” said Dzonzi, who is Link for Justice Executive Director.
He said Malawi is a nation that has laws and that if they are broken, the country can resolve any differences peacefully without any bloodshed.
“In short, Malawians should be the overall victors from this judgment as it means they have a system that upholds the rule of laws,” said the lawyer.
Political analyst, Ernest Thindwa said the ruling shows the country’s democracy has been fostered, hence a sign of triumph for all Malawians.
“What has happened is that democracy has been fostered because whenever there is an election, the expectation is that what the majority of people want should be done.
“What the court has done is to ensure that the needs of Malawians are met.
“In short it’s Malawians who have won. This time around, the courts have risen to the occasion and done what is expected of them.
“You may recall that in 1999, there were electoral disputes, but in the end, those who complained were not accorded the opportunity to be heard,” said Thindwa.
On the faith front, Evangelical Association of Malawi General Secretary, Reverend Francis Mkandawire described the development an opportunity for Malawians to rethink of rebuilding the nation after months of widespread demonstrations since last year.
“This demonstrates a lot of things in the country’s history. It talks much of the independence and impartiality of our judicial system.
“We need to thank the judiciary for not letting down Malawians. We have to concede that justice has prevailed,” he said.
Mkandawire then commended judges for the judgment, saying it represents the wishes of most Malawians.
“We thank our judges for not showing bias in the delivery of justice. Going forward, we thank God for being with us as Malawians throughout the course of judicial process.
We ask God for his love by making sure that the judgment is for the benefit of many Malawians,” said Mkandawire.