Mzuzu High Court’s selective ‘efficiency’ a matter of concern

When William Gladstone (British politician, 1809 – 1898) coined the adage “justice delayed, is justice denied” he was spot on. Any individual whose rights have one way or another been compromised, ought to have their case heard and decided upon – with all speed – by a competent court of law.

The opposite is also true. Anyone who has infringed upon the rights of another or indeed is at the wrong end of the law for whatever reason, should quickly have the prosecution make its case, witnesses paraded and judgement delivered – promptly.

In theory, this is how things in Malawi – a former British protectorate – with its laws and jurisprudence copied from its colonial master, should be. However, for many practical and understandable reasons, this is rarely the case due to many challenges.

While some challenges are technical, most are to do with logistics and availability of funds. And therefore, many Malawians languish in jail before their case is heard or have to wait an inordinately long time before they are compensated.comment

Looking at this from the myopic view that ‘life sucks and is unfair’, and therefore nothing should be done to redress this, is of course as ridiculous as a castle on a cloud.

We therefore applaud and celebrate our judiciary who, operating on tight budgets are doing their best, under the circumstances.

Our applause however does not extend to the Mzuzu Branch of the judiciary called the Mzuzu High Court for reasons outlined below.

Our Case:

Whereas, parliament is currently seating in Lilongwe;

Whereas, parliamentarians  Shamil Asibu of Mangochi South West and Alfred Mwechumu of Mangochi North-East MP, are in Lilongwe, or are supposed to be in Lilongwe where parliament is in session;

Whereas, there is a duly constituted High Court in Lilongwe;

Whereas there are more Judges in Lilongwe compared to Mzuzu; and

Whereas there are more legal firms and lawyers in Lilongwe compared to Mzuzu;

Now therefore:

Can someone explain why the injunction granted to Mangochi North-East MP, Alfred Mwechumu and his hombre restraining the Speaker from implementing Section 65 had to be obtained from Mzuzu High Court, over 360 kms from Lilongwe?

In the absence of a plausible explanation, we and indeed the public at large, reserve the right to:

Raise questions, questioning the integrity of the Mzuzu High Court, and

Since this institution is funded by our taxes, demand answers to our questions.

We hope this is the last we have seen of such haste when it is a fact that the Mzuzu High Court has milliards of cases of Malawians with no name, whose cases have been on pending for a long time.

If justice delayed, is justice denied to the likes of our honourable members of parliament try to escape the long arm of Section 65; justice delayed is justice denied to the many Malawians looking forward to have the cases heard and resolved.

What is particularly irritating is the two, who crossed the floor on their own accord and with their eyes wide open, are using – at the expense of others – the Mzuzu High Court to escape the wrath of Section 65, a constitutional proviso that is the bulwark of our young democracy. What cheek!

We eagerly anticipate clarification from the High Court of Mzuzu for its role in this sad development.

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