At times, when you deem it necessary, be haughty and obstinate when it comes to individual authority but not the rule of law. The law bites. It has no eyes. It cannot see. On Friday, the court found Linda Kunje, a former commissioner for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) who is also thought to be a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) agent, guilty of impeding the president of the Republic of Malawi’s motorcade in 2020.
According to the country’s Traffic Laws, every motorist is obliged to pave way for the Presidential motorcade to pass whenever the President is travelling.
As reported by Shire Times, on this material day, the President was travelling from the commercial city of Blantyre to the country’s old capital of Zomba for a graduation ceremony at the University of Malawi when Kunje ordered her driver to continue driving on her way to Zomba despite repeated warnings by the sweeper vehicle on the Presidential motorcade to pave way for the President to pass first.
For starters, Kunje was alongside commissioner Jean Mathanga declared incompetent by both the High Court and the Supreme Court, in the way they handled the 2019 presidential elections. Having declared the election null and void, the expectation was that new commissioners with a track record of high sense of integrity would be appointed to run the court-sanctioned fresh election.
As the law requires, a recommendation was then given to the then-president to fire them. Defiantly, Mutharika ignored the recommendations. When the tenure of that commission came to an end, he, surprisingly, renewed the contract of the two commissioners.
The fresh presidential election was held with these two commissioners as part of the newly constituted Mec which delivered the results that ousted Mutharika. That’s the geneses of Kunje’s arrogance. She grew ‘blue’ wings, and she was flying high, thinking that the country belonged to Mutharika only. In February 2020, appearing before Public Appointments Committee of parliament which was then probing into the competence of the MEC commissioners as Malawi headed to fresh presidential election as ordered by the Constitutional Court, Kunje displayed rudeness of the highest order. She was told to go out of the meeting for being rude and uncooperative. Kunje banged the door on her way out, to the disappointment of PAC members.
That’s about convict Kunje. She went too far, to the extent of disrespecting the office of the President when her DPP was booted out. She was so obsessed with privileges from the former DPP. She could not wait for just 30 minutes to allow the President’s convoy to go as provided by the constitution, but she has already spent 24 hours in the cooler waiting for a prison sentence. That’s what happens when arrogance faces the rule of law. You learn it hard way.