Said Chakwera: “If I may, allow me to begin by taking a short trip down memory lane. This third day of February is the second anniversary of an historic ruling by the High Court of Malawi, which sat as a Constitutional Court to examine the State’s conduct of the 2019 presidential election. Like all Malawians, I remember that day like it was yesterday.
“The most enduring memory I have from that day is of Dr. Chilima and I walking into that crowded courtroom knowing that we were not merely there as petitioners, but as servant leaders carrying upon our shoulders the weight of a nation’s hope for justice.
“ In a 500-page judgment whose summation took over 10 hours to deliver, the five Justices of the High Court not only unanimously nullified the 2019 polls on account of widespread illegalities committed therein by the State, but they also ruled that the State’s reckoning of what it means to win a presidential election by a majority had been unconstitutional for 4 over two decades.
“For this reason, the Court further ruled that a Fresh Presidential Election be held within 150 days, making the June 2020 presidential election the first in which only the candidate with over 50% of the people’s vote would be declared victorious. These three consequential orders of the Court were not only celebrated by Malawians, but were also upheld three months later by a unanimous ruling of the Supreme Court of Appeal and accorded international recognition five months after that.
“Madam Speaker, on that February day, the electoral system of this country was fixed forever. It was fixed radically and it was fixed legally. The fix happened because Dr. Chilima and I presented our grievances to a credible and competent Court whose institutional independence was indisputable and whose integrity and courage in the face of corruption and intimidation was uncompromising.
“But it also happened because in presenting our grievances, Dr. Chilima and I publicly confronted the structural, administrative, and legislative gaps of a state institution that had allowed its agents to corrupt its operations.
“Truth be told, even though what the 5 Courts did to fix the dysfunctional electoral system is celebrated worldwide, we as a nation have never truly had an opportunity to express to them our thanks. I believe that this anniversary of that ruling is a God given chance for us to do so.
“The Justices who fixed that broken electoral system are here and the citizens of all 193 constituencies are also fully represented here. I therefore ask all members of this House to stand and join me in applauding these Justices for the work they did to fix a system we all need for the enjoyment of our democratic rights. - MBC Online Services.