The Malawi government through Ministry of Information and Communication Technology has defended the hiring of foreign lawyers by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) at a whooping Mk600 million ahead of the appeal case of the Presidential polls.

Last month, State Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima who is also President of the United Transformation Movement (UTM) questioned MEC’s move, saying its costly to the country.

Chilima went further by proposing that the money which MEC wants to use in hiring lawyers from South Africa should be directed to other pressing matters in the country such as coronavirus pandemic.

Reacting to Chilima’s remarks, Mark Botomani, Minister of Information quashed this, saying MEC is justified to hire foreign lawyers.

“The Malawi Electoral Commission was being defended by the Attorney General for free. It was the Constitutional Court that stopped the Attorney General from representing MEC.

“Further, out of all lawyers in Malawi, only one accepted to represent MEC in the Supreme Court of Appeal and he was not going to be ready until April when MEC wanted lawyers immediately. MEC has explained its points of appeal and just like any other person, MEC has the right to defend itself and Malawi’s young democracy,” said Botomani in a statement released on Thursday.

The future of MEC’s foreign lawyers will be known on Monday next week as is the day the Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda will hear Jane Ansah’s plea.

Meanwhile the appeal case of the Presidential polls case is scheduled to commence on April 15, 2020 in the capital Lilongwe.

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