Mzuzu University for training of Malawi court interpreters

Mzuzu University (Mzuni) Forensic Linguistics students say it is pertinent that Malawi magistrate court interpreters be accorded proper training so that impartial judgment is fostered.

Interpreters need knowledge -- Kondowe

Interpreters need knowledge — Kondowe

The students made the observation Tuesday during a field trip to Nkhata Bay Magistrate Court, which compliments their course work.

Class Representative Yamiko Banda said they “noted” there was a high level of incompetence among the interpreters.

“Sometimes they interpreted into local languages things that were totally from what the prosecutors were saying,” she said.

According to her, the class recommended that stakeholders, beginning with Mzuni, should take up the “task of training the interpreters.”

Nkhata Bay District Magistrate, a Mr. Ngosi, agreed with Banda saying previously the interpreters were being trained at Mpemba Staff Development Institute but over the years “it has been difficult.”

Lecturer in the department of languages and literature Wellman Kondowe said they “were considering” the recommendation.

Kondowe recommended that the interpreters need knowledge in language and communication, language, crime and law plus sociolinguistics.

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Bernard Banda

I stand by Kondowe and the observations made. Lets learn to accept where challenges are and have them addressed. Remember wrong translations may take someone to jail. Besides, competence must never be taken for granted. Such observations in the realm of education may call for curriculum reviews, hence the same can be said in this context, education and in-service training should be considered as a mitigatory intervention to this plight which may be a national issue in other courts of law.


You the so-called ‘Mzuni’- comment #4 it seems u have personal issues with Kondowe. Grow up n find other way of dealing with ur frustration otherwise some of us respect him coz of his personality and professionalism. Jealous ikuphani akulu..Keep up the good work Kondowe.

A Welman Kondowe, why are you making this noise as if you have started a degree programme bwanji? This is just a course, a module, or a subject which cannot even count on its own. You have been to every media house just to seek attention ndi masters ya china yakoyo. By the way, what is your area of specialisation? I thought you were employed by Mzuni to teach Chichewa? By the way, have you all of sudden become a spokesperson for Mzuni? please give us a break, many people are achieving a lot at Mzuni but dont go to… Read more »

Tili Chenene, let this be translaters. For the Magistrates, does it mean that when translaters make wrong translations you do not correct them? If so, the blame on wrong judgment should not be heaped on translaters but the Magistrates. I have attended court hearings where the Magistrates or Judges insist on the translaters to give the correct translation before they can proceed with the case.

concerned citizen

This finding shows that some innoncernt people are perishing in prison due to poor interpretors.
Why can’t the magistrates themselves learn peoples languages or be interpretors so that cases are judges fairly? Let us be proud of our languages just like other countries. We’re independent – 50 yrs koma tikufuna interpretor.
in those days zinali ok for we had mamagistrate a chizungu. Think about this Malawians

Tili Chenene

Interpreters or translaters?

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