For Online E-newspaper
Daily Nation : February 12th 2014
26 | Africa News DAILY NATION Wednesday February 12, 2014 CLEARED | Legal advice sought from experts Mutharika allowed to present poll papers PHOTO |FILE Leader of Democratic Progressive Party in Malawi, Professor Peter Mutharika waves to supporters on a past campaign outing. Election commission boss says the issue of holding US green card was not a ground to disqualify the candidate BY REX CHIKOKO NATION Correspondent LILONGWE, Tuesday T he Malawi Electoral Commission has said that after long consultations with several legal minds in Malawi it came to the conclusion that the issue of holding of a US Green Card could not lead to disqualification of a candidate. MEC chairperson Maxon Mbendera said this in Blantyre today when he was accepting nomination papers of leader of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, Mr Peter Mutharika. Mr Mutharika’s candidature came into question when government announced that it will block him from presenting his nomination papers because he was a holder of a US green card. Mutharika surrendered the card to the US embassy arguing that much as he saw no problem holding the card he did not want the issue of green card to overshadow real issues during the election. Among other things candidates in Malawi are forbidden to owe allegiance to any other country, government argued that by holding a green card Mutharika was owing allegiance to the United States of America. However MEC chairperson Mbendera said while the issue of green card was no longer part of the election he wanted to tell the public that the Commission sought independent legal advice from three distinguished legal We do not make decisions actuated by malice or affinity. Our decisions are solely based on law and legal precedents’’ Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson, Mr Maxon Mbendera Probe on ex-minister takes a new twist BY MICHAEL CHAWE NATION Correspondent LUSAKA, Tuesday The corruption investi- gation involving Zambia’s former defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba has taken a new twist, with authorities now summoning the wife and daughter of the wealthy politician. Before resigning from the Cabinet of the 76-year-old President Michael Sata, Mr Mwamba had a cosy relation- ship with the Head of State which now has clearly gone up in smoke. ‘‘Police in Lusaka have warned and cautioned the wife and daughter of Mr Mwamba on six counts they are allege to have committed between April 1st and November 30, 2012’’ reported state radio today. “Mr Mwamba’s wife Chama and his daughter Tandewi were warned and cautioned at Woodlands Police Station were they were summoned.” The duo are alleged to have as directors/partners of Arizona Marketing and Distributors committed three counts of uttering a false document involving manufacturers authorisation, company profile and pole specifications to the Zambia Public Procurement Authority and state power utility Zesco Limited. They purported the docu- ments to have been issued by Board Timber Limited, Zambia Police spokesperson Charity Chanda was quoted as saying. practitioners. “We consulted the Attorney General. The Attorney General is the head of the Malawi Bar. ‘‘He is a Senior Counsel in his own right. We also consulted an eminent Senior Counsel of 20 years standing at senior counsel level. In addition ...we put the same question before the Commission’s retained firm of lawyers. “These distinguished lawyers, independent of each other, advised the Commission that a holder of a green card cannot and should not be barred from contesting on that ground at all,” he said adding that the decisions of MEC on any issue are not made capriciously. “We do not make decisions actuated by mal- ice or affinity. Our decisions are solely based on law and legal precedents,” Mr Mbendera said. Mr Mutharika thanked the commission and said he hoped that the commission will conduct a free and fair election a thing which the commissioner chairperson assured the DPP aspirant. Mr Mutharika also said he is going to re- spect the outcome of the May 20 Presidential elections and he hoped that the rest of the candidates will do likewise.
February 11th 2014
February 13th 2014