Former president Bakili Muluzi has joined calls for peace during and after the judgement in the presidential elections case.
He said in a statement yesterday, political parties should refrain from making what he called rush statements that could have the potential to ignite chaos in the country.
The Constitutional Court (ConCourt) will on Monday February 3 2020 deliver the landmark judgement where the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera and UTM’s Saulos Chilima are challenging the results of last year’s presidential election.
In a statement released yesterday, Muluzi said the petition was a positive step for the country because it should show that it is a peaceful country.
“As you may recall, I fought for multiparty democracy, respect for human rights and rule of law. We bear witness to our transition from one-party rule to multiparty democracy. We achieved this by dialogue and via the ballot and not through anarchy.
“For this reason, I appeal for peace and calm during the aftermath of the judgement,” he said.
Muluzi, who ruled Malawi from 1994 to 2004, called on those that will lose the case to respect the rule of law and use civil means and dialogue to achieve their objectives.
“Let us learn from our history of how we fought for multiparty democracy in 1994 by peaceful means and dialogue. We need to invoke the same spirit now and tame our personal egos and speak one language of peace regardless of our political differences.
“May I take the opportunity to urge all political parties and leaders to desist from making rash statements which have the potential to ignite chaos in the country,” he said.
The former president also called on the clergy to prioritise messages of peace, harmony and tolerance.
A number of people and institutions have voiced the need to keep peace after elections. They include Malawi Law Society (MLS) and opposition parties MCP and UTM.
While the country’s main development partners on Wednesday pleaded with petitioners, respondents and all Malawians to respect the February 3 2020 verdict.
In a joint statement released, Ambassadors of the United States of America, Germany, Ireland, Japan and Norway as well as British High Commissioner and the European Union (EU) Delegation said all parties should adhere to constitutional provisions and electoral laws, including the right to appeal the judgement.
Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mark Botomani has since promised Malawians that government will ensure maximum security.
The fears ahead of the ruling appear to stem from the series of post-elections demonstrations, some of which turned ugly, organised by Human Rights Defenders Coalition.