Malawi Law Society (MLS) members have elected Patrick Mpaka as their president for the next two years, replacing Burton Mhango who did not seek re-election after serving one term.
MLS conducted its election on Tuesday in High Court registries across the country because its members could not gather at one place as part of adherence to Covid-19 precautionary measures.
According to a list of unofficial results The Nation has seen, Mpaka, who served as Mhango’s vice-president, triumphed after defeating Tadala Chinkwezule by 265 votes against 234, while Felisah Kilembe Mitambo floored outgoing honorary secretary Martha Kaukonde by 266 votes to 234 to scoop the position of vice-president.
Outgoing treasurer Chrispin Ngunde is the society’s new honorary secretary after going unopposed just like the incoming treasurer Phatuma Amasi who did not have a challenger.
Remmie Ng’omba, Robert Nthewa and Wesley Mwafulirwa were elected chapter representatives for the South, Centre and North respectively, while Vitumbiko Gubuduza, Carol Makoko and Gabriel Chembezi were elected committee members.
Ngunde said the MLS election subcommittee will officially announce the results today during the society’s annual general meeting (AGM) and conference taking place at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi.
In an interview yesterday, Mpaka said it was a humbling mark of trust and confidence that MLS members elected him to lead the society.
“To have been elected as president in that group of 10 is a remarkable degree of trust and confidence which one can only take with an equal measure of humility and responsibility,” he said.
On his part, Mhango said the AGM was originally slated to take place in February but it was shifted after the country suffered the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in January and part of February.
He said due to Covid-19 gathering restrictions, participation to the AGM is virtual and only about 50 participants comprising hosts and facilitators have gathered in Mangochi.
The AGM is being held under the theme Futuristic Perspective of the Legal Practice in Malawi and the outgoing president said members will look at various emerging issues including the evolvement of the legal practice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“From a history of strict requirement of physical attendance of court, to the present practices of zoom court sessions and electronic case management, the landscape of legal practice has not been static,” said Mhango.