Five judges of the High Court of Malawi who presided over the historical May 21 2019 presidential election nullification case have been awarded the prestigious 2020 Chatham House Prize.
In a letter dated October 23 2020, Chatham House Director and Chief Executive Dr Robin Niblett said the award is in recognition of the judges’ role in the protection of Malawi’s constitution.
“Dear Honourable Justice Potani, I am delighted to inform you that your nomination for the 2020 Chatham House Prize has been voted for as the winner of this year’s award.
“All of us at Chatham House, including our three Presidents-Sir John Major, Baroness Manningham-Buller and The Lord Darling of Roulanish-join me in sending you our warmest congratulations.
“Our members recognized you for upholding the independence of the judiciary in your ruling on Malawi’s presidential election,” reads part of the statement.
In reaction, one of the legal experts in the country has reiterated the need for the legal fraternity to ensure it aims at protecting the country’s constitution when executing its duties.
Prof. Kanyongolo has since applauded the five judges for the prestigious award.
On February 3 2020, the five panel of judges sitting as a Constitution Court led by Judge President of the High Court of Malawi Justice Healey Potani, nullified the May 21 2019 presidential election which was won by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Peter Mutharika saying it was marred with irregularities.
The other four judges are Justice Mike Tembo, Justice Dingiswayo Madise, Justice Ivy Kamanga and Justice Readson Kapindu.