Judges, Magistrates condemn threats of attacks


Magistrates and Judges Association of Malawi (MAJAM) says threats of attacks against judicial officers undermine the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.

MAJAM has released a statement today signed by its president Howard Pemba and secretary Peter Kandulu following threats against judicial officers and their families.

In the statement, MAJAM has noted that judicial officers take oath to work without fear or favour and not to be influenced by any organ or individual.

“MAJAM fully appreciates the right to freedom of expression guaranteed to every individual under the Constitution and the fact that judicial pronouncement is not immune to public comment. However, it firmly believes that such discourse should focus and be limited to the merits of the decision and not spill over to personal attacks, or worse still inviting violence on judicial officers and their families,” reads part of the statement.

The judges and Magistrates have also said that the law provides for avenues for redress for any party aggrieved by a decision made by the courts by applying for review or appeal.

They have also advised that people can file complaints against judicial officers to the Complaints Management Committee and The Institutional Integrity Committee, which have the responsibility to receive and resolve complaints relating to corruption respectively.

The statement comes after a man identified as Ben Longwe produced an audio in which he called on the general public to attack judicial officers by torching their homes, vehicles and court buildings because they are allegedly not being fair in their judgements.

Police yesterday expressed dismay over the audio and warned that they will take action.