In Malawi, Lawyer Who Helped President Chakwera Win Election Case Turns Down Ministerial Appointment
Private-practice lawyer Modecai Msisha who also represented President Lazarus Chakwera during the election case has turned down the position of Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs which was conferred on him by the President.
Msisha said he did not consider that it would be appropriate for him having been lead counsel on Chakwera’s legal team in the election case to put himself in a position where it would appear that he was taking a reward for acting on behalf of the President in the case.
Chakwera and Vice- President Saulos Chilima petitioned the courts seeking a nullification of last year’s presidential election where Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party was declared winner.
The Constitutional Court nullified the poll and ordered a fresh one within 150 days from February 3 when it delivered its judgement which was later upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeal.
In rejecting his appointment, Msisha said he has other commitments to his staff which he could not abandon.
“I am convinced that there are many younger lawyers who have skills to serve the country better than I could in that position at my age. My presence in Cabinet would have been a continuous distraction to the President’s agenda for the country,” Msisha said.
He has, however, said he will still be available if the President needs his services and “honest views on the many national ailments he has to deal with”.
“My support for the President goes beyond having been his legal counsel and more so after his acceptance speech which I found very useful, open, honest and brought out the national ailments clearly as well as an olive branch to his political opponents,” Msisha added.
Among the people that have been appointed to ministerial positions are Chilima (Minister responsible for Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms), Felix Mlusu (Minister of Finance) and Richard Chimwendo Banda (Minister of Homeland Security).
Lawyer Chikosa Silungwe has been appointed Attorney General, Zangazanga Chikhosi Chief Secretary to the Government to be deputised by Janet Banda and Prince Kapondamgaga as Chief of Staff for State Residences.