Court faults Mutharika over attempt to fire Chief Justice


The High Court has faulted former President Peter Mutharika and former Chief Secretary Lloyd Muhara for attempting to fire Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda.

High Court judge Charles Mkandawire has ruled that Mutharika and Muhara had no powers to fire Nyirenda.

On June 12, the Mutharika administration wrote Nyirenda SC and Justice Edward Twea asking them to go on leave pending retirement.

Muhara claimed that Nyirenda had accumulated over 500 days of leave.

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition and the Malawi Law Commission challenged the move in court and applied for a judicial review on the decision.

In his ruling, Judge Mkandawire said Mutharika and Muhara interfered with roles of Judiciary since the issue of leave is handled by the Judiciary.

He added that the Judiciary is an independent arm and is equal to Parliament and Executive hence the Executive should not dictate affairs of the Judiciary.

On costs for the court case, Mkandawire said the matter will be heard on a later date so that Mutharika and Muhara should be represented.

According to Mkandawire, the court will summon Mutharika and Muhara in seven days.

Mutharika’s attempt to fire Chief Justice was condemned by various quarters all over the world.

Following Mutharika’s loss in the June 23 elections, the Lazarus Chakwera administration withdrew the notice to send Nyirenda on leave.