Open Letter to Chief Justice of Malawi on delayed judgments in High Court

As a long suffering Malawian citizen who has now been waiting for many years for my court case to be concluded I nearly fell of my chair this morning when I heard that 0n Monday you declared in public that at least 80% of outstanding judgements were delivered.

I do not wish to dispute the figure you have quoted because I am in no position to do so. However when checking with some of my friends and colleagues in this regard we were at a total loss to understand why our cases were not included in the 80% of cases which were concluded especially those in the Supreme Court.

Your ladyship, I am in no position to and certainly do not wish to take issue with you regarding the above but I did feel the need to take the liberty to request you to seriously look into the matter of all still outstanding judgments as many Malawians have now been denied justice for many years and as the old adage says, “justice delayed is justice denied”. I can assure you with the greatest of respect that hundreds of us out there no fully understand the meaning of this but more importantly the devastating effect it has had on our lives and that of our families.

Justice Msosa: A lady of memoir heading the Judiciary

Justice Msosa: A lady of memoir heading the Judiciary

What also makes matters worse is that when we ask our attorneys in this regard the advice always seems to be that we should wait as complaining to some judges may lead to an adverse judgment which should never be the case. Surely we should not be discriminated against simply because we demand what is one of our constitutional rights as Malawi citizens.

If this is indeed to be the case, and I hope and pray that our attorneys are simply over cautions in this regard, as it would otherwise mean that judges are not only not performing their constitutional duties but are also intimidating the very public whom they are supposed to serve, and who also pay for their salaries and perks.

Your ladyship, I do understand that you took over at a very difficult time in Malawi legal history and that you have to face challenges that probably none of predecessors had to face.

However, I simply cannot understand why some of us have to wait for more than 5 years and others even more than 10 years to get finality in our cases in which we are merely trying to enforce rights which we believe we are legally entitled in terms of the laws of Malawi.

I therefore beg you on behalf of myself and all my fellow citizens that you intervene in such a manner whereby we not only hear about the other 80% who were so fortunate to have their matters finalised but also the many of us out there, (the “forgotten” 20%), who simply seem to have been relegated to obliviono over the last 10 years or more.

God bless Your Ladyship

Yours faithfully,

David Banda

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