A renowned and respected law Professor at University of Malawi Garton Kamchedzera has said that Saulosi Klaus Chilima is not eligible to contest as president in 2025 since he is serving his second term as vice president of the country.
Kamchedzera was commenting on Times Radio, following the remarks made by Chilima on Friday where among several others he indicated that according to the Tonse Alliance agreement he is set to take over from President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera as the 2025 candidate.
“Even without the disagreements within the Tonse Alliance, the Constitution and following the interpretation of the law by the Constitutional Court, the current vice president is not eligible to contest as President since he has served two consecutive terms,” said Kamchedzera.
He added: “As the Vice President considers for his ambition to run for the presidency in 2025, he must be considering other things within our Constitution. Our Constitution states that the President must serve not for more than two terms in a set of five-year term. In the case of former President, Bakili Muluzi, the ConCourt explained that this law extends even to the Vice President.”
The law Professor said he was personally surprised that Chilima was more concerned about the Alliance agreement, yet the issue of his candidature was one of the concerns he was supposed to focus on.
Kamchedzera also questioned Chilima on the basis of his declaration that if the Alliance disintegrate before 2025, then the country should go for another round of presidential elections.
He said for this to happen it means there is need for the Constitution to be changed.
“But now it will mean we are a nation that is not willing to follow the laws as they are. We have done that before for example with Section 65 but there is a reason why the framers of the Constitution thought that is important,” added Kamchedzera.
Kamchedzera stressed that the Malawi Constitution does not provide for any election in case of political party alliances being broken.
Kamchedzera remarks put to rest debate on the eligibility of Chilima who is currently fighting to force his way to contest on the Tonse Alliance ticket is 2025.
Ironically, Chilima triggered this debate in the midst of his accusations that he corruptly received money from businessman Zuneth Sattar to influence granting of Government contracts a revelation that forces his boss to withdrew delegated powers to him.