Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe has said following government’s decision to rescind the appointment of two Commissioners of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), Jean Mathanga and Linda Kunje, the commission can no longer discharge its duties.
In a memo to Justice Chifundo Kachale, Chairperson of the MEC, Silungwe has said one of the consequences of the rescission is that there is no Commission, advising the remaining commissioners not to carry out any duties.
Section 75 (1) of the Constitution stipulates that there shall be an Electoral Commission which shall consist of a Chairman who shall be a Judge nominated in that behalf by the Judicial Service Commission and such other members, not being less than six, as may be appointed in accordance with an Act of Parliament.
On June 7 2020, former President Peter Mutharika appointed Justice Kachale as Chairperson. Other Commissioners were Arthur Nanthuru, Steve Duwa, Mathanga, Kunje, Anthony Mukumbwa and Olivia Liwewe.
With Mathanga and Kunje’s appointment rescinded, it means the Commission is left with four Commissioners.
Two legal scholars faulted government’s decision to dismiss Mathanga and Kunje as commissioners of the MEC, opining that the two are at liberty to challenge the decision in court.