Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera and other party supporters have turned to God by embarking on a three-day Esther Fast to pray for “victory over wickedness and for good leaders and truth to reign in Malawi”.
According to one of the organisers of the fast Sean Kampondeni, so far there is a positive response on the prayer request with people in Malawi and abroad joining the fast, whose first gathering was held on Wednesday at Crossroads Hotel auditorium, in Lilongwe.
“The fast is for three days. The whole auditorium was full during the first gathering with people from Lilongwe and even from abroad. We will have another gathering on Saturday to close the fast,” he said.
Kampondeni said they want to ask God to intervene in the ongoing elections court case that is scheduled for hearing soon.
Public Affairs Committee (PAC) chairperson the Reverend Felix Chingota has since said that people are free to hold prayers whenever they want to.
Speaking in an interview on Wednesday, he said Chakwera’s three-day fast was normal.
He said: “They are free to pray. Everyone asks God’s intervention in different ways, so they are free to pray and fast.”
The Esther Fast is a biblical dry fast, for which participants do not eat or drink during the period. MCP is observing the fast from Wednesday, June 12 to Friday June 14.
Chakwera and UTM Party president Saulos Chilima, who is also the country’s immediate past vice-president, are challenging the May 21 presidential election results that were marred by use of Tippex by Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) in altering figures on results sheets.
The two filed a case against MEC in court, and the court has since included President Peter Mutharika as the first respondent to the petition with MEC as the second respondent.
Court documents show that Chilima and Chakwera are first and second petitioners, respectively.
And in a notice of the case, High Court of Malawi and Supreme Court of Appeal registrar Agnes Patemba advises all parties to the case to meet in the judge’s chamber at the High Court Lilongwe District Registry at 2pm tomorrow.
Further, the notice of consolidated elections case numbers 16 and 26 of 2019 dated June 11 states that in turn, the Attorney General shall file and serve their responses by 10am tomorrow.
Last week, the High Court consolidated two cases initially separately filed by the parties against MEC.
Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda has since certified the matter as constitutional and assigned a five-judge panel to hear it in a Constitutional Court.
The five-judge panel comprises Healey Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Ivy Kamanga and Redson Kapindu.
In an earlier interview, Patemba said the consolidation order meant that the cases would now be treated as one application and be heard by one court.
MEC on May 27 declared Mutharika winner of the presidential race with 1 940 709 votes representing 38.57 percent followed by MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera with 1 781 740 votes representing 35.41 percent while Chilima finished third and ahead of four other aspirants hopefuls with 1 018 369 votes representing 20.24 percent.