…APM is negligent and unfit for presidency
Civil Society Organisations have said impeachment of President Peter Mutharika is “the only way in which Malawi, a country rapidly heading towards the doldrums of social existence, can be saved”. The activists say Mutharika, who turned down a wide swirl of calls for his resignation, is unfit and negligent to remain President in the face of current economic and food crises and that he should be impeached “before he does further damage to the country”.
The activists outline three grounds asking members of parliament to table a motion in the current sitting for Mutharika’s impeachment, insisting that “a change of leadership is in the interest of the nation at large, and may be the only real beginning to a true remedy for our country’s malaise at this moment”.
The activists cites Mutharika’s executive order to suspend laws that make homosexuality illegal in Malawi as one example in which the president has contravened against the Constitution.
“President Peter Mutharika unilaterally and illegally, has placed a moratorium on certain laws of the republic such as the homosexuality laws, without any such powers being given to him in any written law of the republic. This is but one example of a totally unacceptable, illegal and unjustifiable usurping of powers on an issue which all Malawians ought to have a say. And yet, here is someone who took an oath to preserve and defend the Constitution (s. 81(1)), flouting it at will. A president that fails to defend the Constitution and acts ultra vires by imposing a moratorium on an issue that can only be decided by Malawians is a disaster” reads part of the document that has been signed by legal scholar cum governance activist, Z Allan Ntata, on behalf of the Reform to Transform grouping.
Mutharika’s decision which was seen by the international community as a step towards decriminalisation of homosexuality in Malawi was later reversed by the High Court who described the moratorium as illegal in the current Constitutional framework.
The activists have also listed the recent arrest of Malawi Congress Party parliamentarians, Jessie Kabwila and Peter Louis Chakhwantha as another ground for the impeachment.
“President Mutharika allowed or may have instructed his agents, the police to illegally arrest MCP parliamentarians while parliament is seating, for offences that are not exempted from parliamentary immunity based on flimsy evidence that can reasonably be construed to have been obtained by infringing on the accused’s freedoms”.
Mutharika has also been accused in the document of being a negligent president dragging Malawi into “grave danger”. With this, the activists call for a speedy impeachment, saying any delay would give Mutharika space to do “further damage to the country”.