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Magistrate court Judge Gandali dismissed for obtaining bribes from clients

Mlenga Mvula: Gandali is dismissed

ZOMBA-(MaraviPost)-The Judicial Service Commission dismissed magistrate Maxford Gandali after he reportedly failed to uphold the rule of law by demanding money from clients of the court as well as embezzling funds meant for compensating clients.

The Commission’s decision comes barely after another incident wherein Justice Gandali was in 2016 suspended following his alleged involvement in corrupt practices. Gandali was posted at Liwonde Magistrate Court in Machinga, but committed the crime while serving in Zomba.

The Justice Gandali has worked with the Judiciary since November 2009 when he was appointed third grade magistrate until last year when he was sent on indefinite suspension following several verbal and written warnings.this was the result of official complaints lodged against him by court clients.

Gandali’s dismissal has been confirmed by the Judiciary Spokesperson Mlenga Mvula, and the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal  Agnes Patemba, who was Chief Resident Magistrate (CRM) heading the Eastern Region at the time Gandali committed the alleged offence.

“On several occasion Gandali was summoned and verbally warned about his unbecoming behavior of soliciting money from court clients, but he never changed.

“Before the suspension, I cautioned Judge Gandali’s misconduct but despite the warnings, and the several complaints continued to be presented to my office about his habit of soliciting brides.

“Within a year, I transferred him to three different courts, but complaints of his demanding bribes from clients did not stop. Therefore, because of the gravity of the offences, the matter was Refered to the Chief Justice, who because of the gravity to the offences, resolved to dismiss Gandali,” Patemba said.

A dismal letter signed by Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, dated February 6, 2017, highlights that Judge Gandali’s action contravenes rule 2(6) of the General Code of Conduct and Rules 2 (1) and (2) of the Judicial Code of Ethics as stipulated in the Eleventh and Twelfth Schedule to the Conditions of Service for judicial officers (2012) respectively.

Cases of soliciting bribes amongst magistrates have been rising over the years; the perpetrators have continued this malaise due to failure by court users to report them to the relevant agencies including Anti-Corruption Bureau and police.

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