Chakwera commits to promote and protect independence of Judiciary


President Lazarus Chakwera says he is committed to protecting, respecting and promoting the independence of the Judiciary.

He made the remarks in Lilongwe where newly appointed Supreme Court of Appeal Judges were sworn in. The new Judges are Sylvester Kalembera, Dingiswayo Madise, Rowland Mbvundula and Dorophy Nyakaunda Kamanga.

Chakwera with Kamanga

Chakwera said there is still much work to be done to consolidate respect for the independence of Governance institutions, even in advanced and developed nations and this is one area Malawi must resolve to lead  the world by example.

The four judges

“I want to make you a pledge of my own today. So long as I am President, you will never hear me say anything to the public against a decision you make from the bench, even when that decision is unfavourable to my Administration. While the Malawian people are free to express their views on any of your rulings, which is important to maintain public trust in the accountability of the Judiciary as a public institution funded by  taxpayers, I believe that my unique responsibility as President is to always promote and protect the  independence of your court, and on that you have my word,” said Chakwera.

The President also urged the Judges to be brave and have courage and let nothing but the constitution move in their determinations on the bench.

He said it is only the Constitution that has authority over judges  in  the discharge of their duties.

“Remember that almost every decision you make on that Supreme bench will be disagreeable to someone, and so you cannot afford to sacrifice justice on the altar of political correctness or popularity or personal gain. At no point in the taking of  your oath today did I hear any of you pledge to do what is deemed popular or agreeable or profitable. Your pledge  is to the Constitution, the Supreme Law of our land, and as long as you make that your standard against all odds, your Court will continue being worthy of being called Supreme,” explained Chakwera.

In his remarks, Chief Justice Rizine Mzikamanda said now they have a full component of the Supreme Court and that adjournments will be minimized which means work will now get speeded up. He also concurred with the President on adherence to ethics and Constitutionalism.

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