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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Mutharika Dismayed By Alleged Judges’ Bribery Attempt

Lawyers representing President Arthur Peter Mutharika in the Presidential Elections Case currently pending judgment at the constitutional court say their client is dismayed by the alleged attempt to bribe judges presiding over the case.

The lawyers said this in a press statement released Saturday afternoon and signed by Samuel Batson Tembenu (SC), who is one of the lawyers for Mutharika in the case.

The statement says Mutharika, who is the “Custodian of the Malawi Constitution by virtue of being the country’s president, condemns the alleged attempt by any of the parties to influence the honorable judges in discharging their judicial responsibility.”

“Our client strongly believes that the judiciary must be allowed to decide cases without pressure, inducement or any extraneous factors,” reads part of the statement.

The statement further reads that Mutharika believes the court should decide the case purely based on the facts presented before it and the applicable laws.

Tembenu, while confirming issuing the statement, declined to give further comments.

“No interviews. However, I can only confirm that we have actually issued the statement,” he said.

Recently, Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda lodged a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Bureau, (ACB) alleging that some individuals – a business person and a public official, attempted to bribe the five judges presiding over the elections case.

On Wednesday, the graft-bursting body arrested Group Chief Executive Officer for FDH Holdings Limited, Thomson Mpinganjira in relation to the case.

Meanwhile, the constitutional court is expected to present the ruling in the case within the next eight days.

UTM Party president Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party president Lazarus Chakwera petitioned the court to declare the May 21, 2019 presidential election null and void, alleging that it was marred with irregularities.

The Malawi Electoral Commission declared Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party the winner of the election.

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