Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda has has certified as a constitutional matter the case of a 15-year-old boy who was charged with defilement for consensual sexual relationship with a girl of 13.

LILONGWE (MaraviPost): Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda is said to have bid farewell to the judiciary. Supreme Court of Appeal and High Court registrar Gladys Gondwe says Nyirenda retired on December 26, 2021, after hitting the constitutional retirement age of sixty-five. In the same release, Gondwe says Justice Rezine Mzikamanda will perform the functions of Chief Justice until President Lazarus Chakwera appoints the Chief Justice.

Chief Justice Andrew K.C. Nyirenda, SC was born on 26th December 1956 at Bunga village, Traditional Authority Bongoyo, Nkhata Bay district. He was appointed in March 2015 at Sanjika Palace by President Peter Mutharika, who he went on to dethrone from the Presidency and handed him many unfair judgements including court costs for trying to force him to retire for having accumulated so many vacation hours that exceeded his tenure that has just ended.

Education

According to his public records, he has a Bachelor of Laws from Chancellor College of the University of Malawi which he received in 1980 and a Master of Laws from Hull University, England obtained in 1985.

Career

He worked for the Malawi Ministry of Justice in 1980 as a State Advocate. In 1983 he became Legal Aid Advocate. In 1984 he became the principal State Advocate. In 1991, he was further promoted to the position Chief State Advocate. In 1992 he was promoted again to the post of Chief Public Prosecutor (now Director of Public Prosecutions). It was from that position that Nyirenda was appointed to Judge of the High Court. On 3 June 2008 He was also appointed as Justice of Appeal. He was eventually elevated to Chief Justice of the Republic of Malawi on 12 March 2015.

He is said to haves written about his opinion of the role of courts on protecting vulnerable people in Malawi.

Andrew Nyirenda will go in history as the most corrupt and unprofessional Chief Justice in the history of the country who has failed to root out corruption in the judiciary. Nyirenda was at the forefront of the 2020 Election Case Judicial Coup D’état.

Attempts by the Peter Mutharika led Malawi government to remove Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda days before presidential elections were blocked following protests from law and civil society groups.

The Malawi government announced that Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda had been placed on leave pending retirement with immediate effect. The notice read that Nyirenda had accumulated more leave days than the remainder of his working days until his retirement, due in December 2021.

However, high court judges granted injunctions preventing the move after the Malawi Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), the Association of Magistrates, and the Malawi Law Society lodged appealed against it.

In response, a statement signed by sixty law professors and academics from around the world said: “[The] actions constituted an unprecedented assault on judicial independence in Malawi. We hereby condemn them in the strongest terms.”

The statement added that no judge can be forced to take leave and they are guaranteed tenure until they turn sixty-five. “We call upon the government of Malawi to uphold the rule of law and constitutionalism and to respect all court judgments. The government must refrain from attacking individual judges and from undermining the judiciary.”

Gift Trapence, the chairperson of the HRDC, said the government’s bid to remove chief justice Nyirenda was an attempt “to frustrate the elections by attacking the judiciary.”

According to Maravi Post reporting The High Court on May 4, 2021, ordered that former Malawi President Peter Mutharika and ex-Chief Secretary to government Lloyd Muhara’s properties be seized and sold over remained unpaid legal fees in Chief Justice Charles Nyirenda case. The directive followed an application by the Malawi Law Society, Association of Magistrates in Malawi, and Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) to the court to order Mutharika and Muhara to personally pay the costs.

Lilongwe High Court Registrar Patrick Chirwa has since ordered the respondents to pay K26 million to first and second applicant and K43 million to third applicant.

Reported to ACB

Concerned junior staff of the judiciary reported Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and Judicial Service Commission to the Anti-Corruption Bureau and office of the ombudsman for breaching recruitment procedures.

This is according to a letter dated 12th November 2020 addressed to the ombudsman, ACB , HRDC, MAJAM , AMA president and copied to the Judicial Service Commission.

According to the letter in possession of the Maravi Post online publication, the junior staff argue that the law allows that only officers who are entitled to practice law in Malawi to be employed as professional Magistrates.

However, without proper justification the judicial service commission employed Tamanda Nyimba, who studied law outside Malawi,  as Senior Resident Magistrate.

“It is established by law that only officers who are entitled to practice law in Malawi may be employed as Professional Magistrates. Without a proper justification the Commission employed the Chair’s personal assistant His Worship Tamanda as a Senior Resident Magistrate. His Worship Tamanda Nyimba studied Law outside Malawi. He never sat for bar exams, neither did [he] he goes to the Malawi Institute of Legal Education like the rest of us who studied Law outside Malawi,” reads the letter.

During his time as Chief Justice the judiciary has been the worst corrupt ever. We have seen convicted criminals roaming the streets on bail while others have been denied the same right. Indians being given preferential treatment while indigenous Malawians have been punished heavily.

He was more of a politician than a Chief Justice. During the past month he has been negotiating for the extension of his contract, but it was never to be. Nyirenda has been used, dumped, and kicked out of the judiciary.

What will you remember Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda for?

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