Mutharika tells new Judges to ‘correct the image’ of the Judiciary

President Peter Mutharika has told three new Judges of the High Court that it is their responsibility to correct the image of the Judiciary.

The president made the remarks in Blantyre on Thursday when the three judges were sworn in. The three are Texas Masoamphambe, Chimwemwe Kamowa and Jabal Alide.

Mutharika said it is the duty of the three Judges to restore public trust in the Judiciary, adding that Malawians expect a lot from them.

Mutharika with government officials and the new Judges

“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.

“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,” said Mutharika.

The Malawi leader in his speech said the Judiciary should be a place of unquestionably high integrity and professionalism.

He read 2 Chronicles, Chapter 19, verses 6 and 7, where 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.”

On independence of the Judiciary, Mutharika warned that the independence does not mean that the Judiciary is a government in itself.

He said 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,” said Mutharika.

He then expressed concern over rising corruption in the Judiciary and reports of rampant practice of delayed judgement in the judiciary.

According to Mutharika, the Civil Procedure Rules provide that judgment has to be delivered within 90 days but Judges refuse 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,” he said.

The swearing in of the three Judges comes months after the High Court sitting as Constitutional Court declared that Mutharika was not duly elected in the 2019 presidential elections.

Justice Chimwemwe Kamowa joins the High Court from the Industrial Relations Court where she resided over labour and employment matters for six years.

Justice Shadreck Masoamphambe 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 two decades of experience as Legal Counsel in corporate and commercial law.