Chief Justice Justice Andrew Nyirenda SC has retired and the Malawi Judiciary has appointed Justice Rizine Mzikamanda as the acting Chief Justice.
This is according to Registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal, Gladys Gondwe, who said Nyirenda has retired after attaining the age of 65 on Sunday December 26, 2021.
Justice Nyirenda was appointed as Malawi’s Chief Justice on 12th March, 2015 by the former President Peter Mutharika and the Judiciary has since commended his exceptional service delivery.
Last year, Nyirenda was about to be sent on forced leave pending his retirement by his appointee, Mutharika. The move came after courts made judgments against the former president and the then ruling party, Democratic Progressive Party.
Several groups protested and the Human Rights Defenders Coalition, the Magistrate’s Association and the Malawi Law Commission challenged the move in court.
In his ruling last year, Judge Charles Mkandawire said Mutharika and former Chief Secretary to Governemnt Muhara interfered with roles of Judiciary since the issue of leave is handled by the Judiciary. He ordered Mutharika and Muhara to pay costs for the case. The two paid K69.5 million earlier this year.
Meanwhile, the judiciary has confirmed the appointment of Justice Mzikamanda as the Chief Justice as they wait for an official appointment from the Malawi President, Lazarus Chakwera.
Justice Mzikamanda who is from Lilongwe was appointed as Malawi’s high court judge in 1997 and once served as head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and the Malawi Law Society.