Certainly as a nation we can’t be changing laws for political expedience. There is a reason why the framers of the Constitution wanted the President to be immune from prosecution
A legal expert has rubbished calls by Vice President Saulosi Chilima for fresh elections, arguing that such calls based on a failed political alliance are baseless and lacks legal backing.
During a statement on Friday in Lilongwe, Chilima said in case of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) decides to abrogate on the agreement of the Tonse Alliance, the country has to go for fresh election to choose another leader.
According to Chilima one of the clauses in the Alliance stipulates that as the running mate in 2020, he is automatically supposed to lead in 2025.
A seasoned legal expert who did not want to be named, however, said political party alliances are not legally binding in Malawi, saying the call for fresh presidential election based on political party alliances was misplaced.
“The Republican Constitution has nothing to do with party agreements on presidential candidates. This can be challenged in court,” he said.
He said it is only in Kenya where political party alliances are legally binding.
On the call for lifting of presidential immunity from criminal prosecution, the legal expert said again Chilima lacks legal reasoning on this as his assertion are based on emotions.
“Certainly as a nation we can’t be changing laws for political expedience. There is a reason why the framers of the Constitution wanted the President to be immune from prosecution.
“In the same vein there is a reason why the vice president has no such immunity. Their roles in governing the country are different. The Veep operates under delegation while the president has a final say on any matter,” said the legal expert.
Speaking at the UTM offices in Area 10, Chilima said every citizen including the president should be prosecuted if he or she commits an offence.
The VP made the fresh election and the removal of immunity calls as he is being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for allegedly being involved in dubious dealings with the UK-based businessman Zuneth Sattar, who is facing corruption charges.