Decision to drop Mutharika’s treason case raises eyebrows

Treason charges forged by the Joyce
Banda’s regime against President Peter
Mutharika before he was voted into
office have been dropped. However,
Malawi24 has learnt that the decision
has raised eyebrows among legal
experts.
The Director of Public Prosecution
(DPP), Bruno Kalemba revealed to the
Nation that his office has dismissed all
charges against President Mutharika
and other Democratic Progressive Party
heavyweights related to treason.
Kalemba told the paper that he was
consulting with the Attorney General
(AG) Anthony Kamanga to drop similar
charges against Mutharika’s co-
accused.The AG said since the sitting
President is immune to prosecution as
stated in Section 91(2) of the Republic of
Malawi Constitution, dismissing the
charges was the best option.
However, legal experts have questioned
the decision to dismiss the charges,
saying Mutharika’s treason started
before his election.
Renowned lawyer Justin Dzonzi told The
Nation that the term “charged” as used
in Section 91 (2) that the DPP’s Bruno
Kalemba has quoted assumed that the
person would already be holding office.
“The Constitution did not anticipate the
election of someone into office who was
already facing criminal charges” Dzonzi
is quoted.
The lawyer argued that ‘charged’ in the
Constitution was used to point out to the
process used to start criminal
prosecution of which in the case of
Mutharika and others, prosecution had
already started before he became
president.
“[The president] would enjoy immunity
the difference being that in the case of
the person already being prosecuted, the
Director of Public Prosecution could stay
the criminal proceedings for the
duration of the term but resume upon
the person leaving office,” said Dzonzi.
The colusses charged alongside
Mutharika forming the infamous Mid-
Night Six include Jean Kalirani,
Kondwani Nankhumwa and Patricia
Kaliati who have since been re-elected
as Members of Parliament (MPs) as well
as Goodall Gondwe, Nicholas Dausi,
Simon Vuwa Kaunda and Msaka.
If the charges are dropped, the suspects
are likely to be compensated millions of
kwachas from thew public purse.

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