ATLANTA, MaraviPost: Following the February 3rd Judgement against his second term, Malawi President Peter Mutharika has made it known the Judgement by Potani and his 4 ConCourt judges was flawed and lacked legal reasoning and legal justification.
So while swearing in new High court Judges the Malawi President who is an international legal scholar of high reputation took the opportunity to remind justices Healey Potani, Mike Tembo, Dingiswayo Madise, Ivy Kamanga and Redson Kapindu of their oath which they failed to upheld in the eyes of the President and his millions of supporters in the country.
In his speech at the ceremony Mutharika opened by saying he was delighted that we have added three judges to the High Court today. Congratulations to the three new judges!
The three new judges bring the number of Justices serving in the High Court to thirty-seven (37).
While we can say the number of judges is growing, the figure remains small and inadequate, considering the demand for judiciary services and the need for the judiciary to expedite delivery of judgments.
It is my expectation that the new judges will help the judiciary to meet people’s expectations.
Malawians have a lot of expectations from the judiciary. These expectations are embodied in the Judiciary’s own vision and core values.
The vision of the Judiciary is expeditious and impartial justice; and the core values of the judiciary are:
On our own promise to the people as carried in these values, Malawians expect our judiciary to be a place of unquestionably high integrity and professionalism.
I always find my inspiration from the Bible. In 2 Chronicles, Chapter 19, verses 6 and 7, the Bible says; “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.”
And in verse 9, the Bible says: “He gave them these orders: ‘You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord’.”
I expect you to administer justice with fairness and impartiality.
Malawians expect the judiciary to be transparent. They expect judges to be accountable at all times.
Are we transparent? Are we accountable?
As I have said before, in any good governance, everyone must be accountable to someone else and only God to be accountable to no-one.
The judiciary should be the moral and legal campus of society. This is so because your job is to judge the wrong doings of others.
There are reports of rampant practice of delayed judgement in the judiciary.
The Civil Procedure Rules provide that judgment has to be delivered within 90 days. However, judges are refusing to write judgments such that it takes as long as seven years to deliver justice.
Yet we all know that justice delayed is justice denied.
I know sometimes there is huge workload. I have been a Magistrate before in Dar es Salaam before I joined the academics.
But I urge you to go and serve with commitment.
Even worse is the rising perception of high corruption in the judiciary.
Yet the job of the judges is to judge the corruption of others.
These examples show that there is a lot of work to do to restore public trust in the Judiciary.
I believe in the work of the judiciary myself and I will always support the Judiciary in its efforts to restore public trust.
The judiciary is one of the three arms of government.
As Head of State, I will always respect the independence of the Judiciary in Malawi.
But let it be clear that in any country in the world, the independence of the Judiciary does not mean that the Judiciary is a government in itself.
The Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature are supposed to work together for the prosperity of Malawians.
The independence of the Judiciary only means that the Judiciary is allowed to judge cases without interference from the other arms of government.
But it does not mean that the Judiciary should not be accountable to anyone.
So, for the Judiciary to enjoy your independence, you also need to exercise strong accountability.
You need a strong internal integrity mechanism that enforces ethical conduct and high discipline among judges and magistrates without bias.
This is the call of the new judges that are taking their Oath of Office today.
You are to uphold the Rule of Law, be impartial, ethical and disciplined.
As a generation of justices, it is your collective responsibility and legacy to correct the image of the judiciary. Your duty as judges is to restore public trust.
Remember that Malawians have a lot to expect from you.
I have appointed you because I have trusted you, and because you have been recommended by your colleagues because they have trusted you.
Do not betray the trust of the people.
Your credentials inspire a lot of expectation.
Justice Chimwemwe Kamowa has over 12 years of experience as a Judicial Officer.
She has worked with the Malawi Judiciary in various capacities. For the last 6 years, she has been Chairperson of the Industrial Relations Court where she has presided over labour and employment matters.
Justice Shadreck Masoamphambe has served as a resident magistrate, rising through the ranks since 2000 before his appointment as a Deputy Registrar of the High Court in 2018.
Justice Jabbar Alide has over 25 years’ experience as Legal Counsel in corporate and commercial law. He has achieved many accomplishments both in the public and private sectors in Malawi.
Each one of you has earned and deserved your appointment. I have confidence in all of you that you will discharge your duties impartially with Patriotism, Integrity and Hard work.
As I conclude, let me say this: In whatever we do today, the international community is watching us.
Malawians are watching us.
Our children are watching us.
Above all, history is watching us.
Thank you for your attention. May God bless you all.