Law expert at Chancellor College Edge Kanyongolo has said he would be surprised if the Constitutional Court ruled in favour of President Bingu wa Mutharika who is seeking court authority to fire Vice- President Joyce Banda.
Kanyongolo, who is in London, was guest at the BBC studio during Network Africa programme in which he said the Constitution of Malawi was very clear on the matter that the president cannot fire the vice-president.
“It would indeed be a surprise,” said Kanyongolo.
President Mutharika is seeking a Constitutional Court interpretation of Section 84 of the Constitution in the hope that it would pave way for him to sack Banda.
The presidential referral, filed in the High Court by Mutharika’s lawyer Allan Ntata and published in major newspapers on Thursday, also asks the court to give an opinion on whether by forming another political party and not attending cabinet meetings, the vice president cannot be said to have resigned within the meaning of Section 84 of the Constitution.
Through the referral, the president wants to know whether or not in light of Section 84 of the Constitution, a sitting vice-president can become a president of an opposition political party, which subsequently fields candidates against the ruling party in elections, forms her own shadow cabinet, works against her own government and consequently fails to attend cabinet meetings and still considered as legitimate and continuing vice-president.
Kanyongolo, who described the Malawi judges as very competent, said they will have tough time in coming up with the judgment on the matter.
He said if the court rules against Mutharika, then the current impasse between the president and his vice continues until elections in 2014.
The impasse between Mutharika and Banda started after the vice president showed openly that she wants to contest as a presidential candidate in 2014 against the will of the president who wants his young brother, Peter, to contest.
She was subsequently fired from the party and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party endorsed Peter Mutharika as the party’s torch bearer in 2014.