Five parliamentary candidates who contested in Thyolo Thava Constituency in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections have queried the High Court of Malawi over the delay to hear their petition seeking nullification of the election.
The candidates, who lost to former Minister of Gender Mary Navicha (Democratic Progressive Party-DPP), expressed their concerns yesterday when they stormed the High Court of Malawi premises in Blantyre to follow up on the case.
The five aspirants are Lifred Nawena, Livingston Mazinga, Ben Chidyaonga, Esnart Kainga Mjojo and Christopher Beula. They claim to have petitioned the High Court on June 4 2019 to nullify the constituency’s parliamentary election results over alleged irregularities.
In their sworn affidavit filed by their lawyers, Chidothe Chidothe and Company, the petitioners claim that among other irregularities, some unregistered voters were allowed to vote after producing their national identity cards. They also allege that monitors were not given result sheets for all the polling centres and that in other polling centres, the number of voters was higher than those who registered.
But 14 months later, the petitioners said they have noted no movement on their matter.
In an interview after checking the case file, Nawena, who is the first petitioner, wondered why the court was delaying to hear their petition.
He said: “It’s very painful to be hearing that some cases similar to ours have been concluded in the same court while ours is still dragging. We expect the court to handle our case as any other cases to do with 2019 parliamentary elections.”
On his part, Mazinga said they feared that their case file may have gone missing; hence, their physical check of files.
He said they found their case file classified as number 30 and the registry expressed optimism that the court would also consider hearing their case.
The Nation records indicate that as of July 2019, the High Court had received 44 petitions of which 16 cases were concluded.
Between December 2019 and June 2020, the High Court has nullified three parliamentary election results in Mangochi West, Mangochi North-East and Phalombe North constituencies and ordered reruns.
Malawi Electoral Commission declared Navicha winner with 23 536 votes. She was trailed by Nawena (independent) with 1 863 votes and Chidyaonga of UTM Party came third. Beula and Mazinga (both independent) got 965 and 920 votes respectively, Mjojo of People’s Party had 448 votes while Lewis Monosile of Malawi Congress Party was last with 356 votes.