A social commentator has questioned the appeal made by former President Dr. Bakili Muluzi against a Constitution court decision ordering him to explain in the trial court how he amassed his wealth while he was a leader of this country.

In 2011, Muluzi’s lawyers applied to the Constitutional Court to determine the constitutionality of Section 32 of the CPA, which puts the burden on the accused to prove their innocence against the general principle where the burden lies in the hands of the State.

Delivering the ruling on Wednesday, a panel of three Judges namely Sylvester Kalembera, Dorothy Nyakaunda Kamanga and Dingiswayo Madise—which formed the panel of the Constitutional Court ruled that the requirement to explain one’s wealth is constitutional hence validating the section.

But Muluzi’s lawyer Tamando Tchokhotho appealed the case on Thursday, arguing that asking the former President to do so was an infringement on several of his constitutional rights to remain silent.

Commenting on the appeal, a social commentator questioned the intention of the appeal.

“The former President went to the Constitutional Court to ask for interpretation of the law and all what the Constitution did was to interpret the meaning and intentions of the drafters of the laws and Constitution. How then could he appeal an interpretation by the Constitutional Court to the Supreme Court? Is this a delaying tactic or he wants to commit a suicide?” queried the commentator who opted for condition of anonymity.

He added: “Why did he premeditate of the appeal? 2. By appealing against a Constitutional court does Muluzi want the Republican Constitution to be re written? 3. Does Muluzi not accept that he has accumulated too much wealth which he needs to explain to the citizens who had employed him? 4. Does he not feel sorry for having contributed to poverty in Malawi instead of offering development to the citizens?”

Muluzi together with his former personal secretary, Lyness Whiskey, are answering the charges of corruption on the money amounting to MK1.7 billion which government alleged was public funds diverted to the former President’s personal account.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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