The historic Malawi Constitutional Court ruling which nullified the 2019 controversial presidential election results, has subsequently exposed the regional Sadc Observer Mission which initially endorsed the disputed victory of embattled leader, Peter Mutharika.
With a panel of five judges, the court annuled last May’s presidential election results citing widespread irregularities in a ruling which lasted about 10 hours Monday evening. The 500-page ruling also cited widespread use of unauthorized fluid, Tipex, to alter poll figures, the unprocedural use of duplicate result sheets and unsigned results forms as the basis for the nullification of the electoral outcome.
The court has now ordered that fresh elections be held within 150 days, under a majoritarian system- a legal provision rejected in 2018 by the Malawi parliament.
“The position of this court is that the widespread use of Tippex greatly undermined the integrity of the elections so much that applying the qualitative approach, the argument by the second respondent (Malawi Electoral Commission) that the valid vote count was not affected and that no monitor came forward to raise a complaint does not matter and this argument is thrown out”, the ruling stated.
In the aftermath of the landmark ruling, Sadc’s Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Tax announced on social media:
“In light of #Malawi Constitutional Court judgement on May 2019 elections, #SADC applauds the people of Malawi for having faith in the judiciary, (and) for respecting the rule of law. (Sadc) calls on all to remain calm, (and) for preparations for the (fresh elections) commence”.
But various opinion leaders did not take this lightly, either.
“You must be ashamed of yourself. You hurriedly endorsed this fraud and said MEC followed the electoral laws and the Constitution. Now without apologising, you want to appear you side with citizens while you are the defender of dictators in the region. Shame on (Sadc and yourself)”, tweeted Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions president Peter Mutasa.
Another user added:
“You are used to endorsing electoral theft. You endorsed the rigged elections in #Malawi but their judiciary refused to be bribed. Similarly, you endorsed (President Emmerson) Mnangagwa’s rigging in #Zimbabwe and the judiciary was bribed. There is zero leadership in #SADC. Shame on (Sadc)”.
“Please don’t be involved again in Malawi. That (Mnangagwa) you are tagging stole elections from (main opposition MDC Alliance leader Nelson) Chamisa”.
The Zimbabwe septuagenarian who is also the chairperson of the Sadc security organ, in 2018 controversially defeated Chamisa in a tightly contested presidential poll. Although the opposition challenged the matter at the Concourt, the country’s top court went on to endorse his win.
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