There were celebrations in the streets of Lilongwe and Mzuzu last night after the Constitutional Court annulled last year’s controversial presidential election results, which saw President Peter Mutharika re-elected.
Motorists hooted and flashed their lights, while others beat drums and tins, shouted and sung joyfully to welcome the watershed ruling that has redefined Malawi’s politics and the management of future elections.
Since the elections last year, Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) led a series of protests against Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) for declaring Mutharika winner of what they said was a fraudulent election.
UTM Party president Saulos Chilima, as first petitioner, and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Lazarus Chakwera, the second petitioner, jointly took Mutharika and MEC to court to seek a nullification of the election. Mutharika was the first respondent, while MEC was the second respondent.
Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers and police officers placed the court area on lockdown from as early as 6am, cordoning off a large area from the public and allowing only accredited people and media personnel.
MCP and UTM Party supporters are also reported to have held joint celebrations in Lilongwe last night. Their leaders are expected to speak to the nation through press briefings today.
In Mzuzu, it seems people were only waiting for the hammering of the Gavel by Potani to launch their celebrations, which were characterised by fireworks, songs and dances.
“Siifeyo, koma ma judge [It is not us, bust the judges],” continuing, The celebrations were generally peaceful, but only allowed vehicles to pass by them if music was played in the vehicles, and if vehicle owners put on hazards but also showed that they were in support of their actions.
The celebrations did not spare embattled MEC chairperson Justice Jane Ansah, whom the people accused of messing up the elections. n