The first-ever election petition to be deposited in the 2019 chaotically managed tripartite election will ironically be the last to be disposed of. According to the Registrar of the High Court, the judgment is set to be delivered on Monday, 23 August 2021 by the Honorable Jack N’riva, Judge of the High Court.
“Take notice that the court shall deliver its judgment on the petition on the 23rd day of August 2021 at 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon in open court,” reads a ‘notice of delivery of judgment’ from the Registrar of the High Court.
Gerald Kazembe who narrowly lost the election according to Electoral Commission results to Ralph Pacharo Jooma petitioned the court arguing the election was riddled with lots of irregularities the outcome of which was not the true representation of the will of the people of the lakeshore-based constituency of Mangochi-Monkey-bay. This will be the last election petition to be disposed of by the High Court of Malawi having nullified election results of at least six constituencies, three in the shire valley, two in Mangochi, and one in Phalombe district on similar allegations as that of Kazembe. More importantly, the courts also declared a sham the 2019 presidential election and ordered a fresh election whose outcome ushered into office the incumbent Republican President, then the opposition Malawi Congress Party presidential candidate, Lazarus Chakwera.
Recently, some quarters of the public grew impatient for this long overdue judgment. They wondered as to what was going on in our courts not to expedite delivery of time-sensitive judgments, citing this case as an example.