Kulinji Comment: Respect ConCourt decision

The Constitutional Court sitting in Lilongwe through its panel of five judges will today make its determination on whether or not to nullify Malawi’s disputed 2019 presidential election results.

You will recall that the journey began with the separate petitions being filed against the Malawi Electoral Commission and Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Peter Mutharika by the UTM Party and Malawi Congress Party presidents Saulos Chilima and Lazarous Chakwera, respectively.

A review by the chief justice Andrew Nyirenda forced the two political parties’ petition into a marriage of convenience that ended up not only oiling the case but strengthening the resolve of the opposition in Malawi.

The amalgamation was to be the genesis of what was to become a closer working relationship between the two political parties’ leaders. But many wished it had been forged earlier to garner votes and fulfill the wish of the people which was to see change.

Never before had Chakwera and Chilima been seen sitting under a tree cracking jokes and smiling away at the cameras.

As the case progressed, they even took similar stances,each trimming their number of witnesses to fast track the case and whittling down those they wished to cross examine from among the Malawi Electoral Commission's witnesses.

All this after the two had each stood in dock and endured some of the embarrassing questions that lawyers seemingly enjoy putting witnesses through.

After months of testimonies, cross and re-examinations, the petitioners and respondents wrapped up their cases.

Today, the judges having heard the case for 60 days, deliberated on the judgement for 45 days and fended off alleged attempts to oil their palms; have the verdict in hand and we know there can only be one winner.

Their decision will either mean nullifying the election and calling for a rerun or agreeing with MEC's decision that Mutharika is indeed the winner.

As Malawians our duty will be to respect the fact that the four learned men and a woman have dissected the case and come up with the side that deserves victory.

We expect for there to be a lot of Monday judges and lawyers with their own ‘crafted verdicts', but we can only ask that we respect the five judges' decision and if for whatever reason the losing side is not happy with the decision the Supreme Court of appeal should be the last resort.

Let us avoid inciting violence, destroying other people’s property, disturbing the peace because it will not amount to much. The uncertainty surrounding the case has grounded too many things already it is just time to move on.

Hail justice! Hail peace! Hail Democracy!