Members of the legal profession have paid tribute to Justice Maxon Mbendera who died in Lilongwe on Thursday.
Mbendera was until his sudden death chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC). He previously served as High Court Judge and later Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeal.
On Thursday legal minds in the country took to social media to remember the departed MEC boss.
Ministry of Justice Public Relations Officer Apoche Esther Itimu described the death of Justice Mbendera as a loss since he was an important person in the legal profession.
“He was a great lawyer, good man, good mentor, fond memories when he was Attorney General (AG) and later judge. Sincere condolences to his family,” Itimu posted on her Facebook account.
Private practice lawyer Wapona Kita remembered Justice Mbendera for his courtroom probing and the way he ensured that lawyers were sure about the arguments they were putting forward.
Wrote Kita: “He was one of the most intelligent Justice of Appeal we had. When appearing before him, he always put lawyers on their toes with his probing legal questions: ‘To be fair to Mr Kita, I did not get the impression that he advanced that strand of his argument with any conviction or seriousness.’ Fare thee well your lordship justice Maxon Mbendera SC. The legal fraternity will miss you.”
Allan Ntata, who was legal advisor to former President Bingu wa Mutharika hailed the MEC boss as a man of integrity.
“For me, I will always remember him as a brilliant legal mind and a man of integrity from whom I learned a lot when we worked together for the government,” posted Ntata on his Facebook page.
Ntata also defended Mbendera’s management of the 2014 elections which were riddled with controversy.
Ntata said: “As Chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Commission, Maxon Mbendera has been ridiculed and accused of many things including rigging elections for the DPP. I have never seen any evidence supporting any of the allegations.”
Justice Mbendera hailed from Ntcheu district. He was born on November 4, 1958.