The Attorney General (AG) Dr. Chikosa Mozesi Silungwe has taken a swipe at public officers who have continuously leaked to the social media his legal advice to the government.
Silungwe says he has noted with disappointment the leakage of his opinions to the social media.
“Since I assumed office, a number of Opinions I have given to Ministries, Departments or Agencies have been leaked to the social media. This is unprecedented. The leakages have generated unwarranted cyber—debates often leading to conclusions that I have misapplied the law,” says the AG in a statement he has issued Friday
Since he took oath of office on June 29, 2020, Silungwe has had two of his legal opinions leaked to the social media, much to his disappointment and frustration.
On Thursday, 11 February, 2021, two opinions that he gave to two senior offices in the government were leaked to social media.
These include opinion of 12 August, 2020, which tackled the legality of interdiction without pay and the second opinion was made on 20 August, 2020, and it was about the composition of the Electoral Commission.
But Silungwe exonerates officials from the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, stressing that they are not behind the leakage of his opinions.
“There are a number among us — public officers — who have deluded, personal agenda that tends to be driven by a condescending attitude towards other public officers. This personal delusion must not be allowed to morph into institutionalised pettiness that threatens the professionalism required in public service. The people of Malawi deserve better from their public officers,” he reads the letter in part.
Silungwe says under the country’s constitutional order, the President can fire one public officer for giving wrong legal advice.
He emphasizes that that person, at the moment, is Chikosa Mozesi Silungwe and therefore nameless lawyers or nameless senior government officials do not bear the constitutional obligation to provide legal advice to the government.
“I bear that constitutional obligation. It is an obligation that I take very seriously. The people of Malawi can be assured that I will not let them down,” he stresses in the letter.
Silungwe states that he would not have accepted his appointment as the 19th Attorney General of the Republic if he knew that he is incompetent for the position.
He challenges that he accepted the appointment because he knows that he is competent to serve the people of Malawi as their Attorney General.
“I joined a team of solid and professional lawyers who are fiercely dedicated to serve the people of Malawi. When I issue an Opinion on a matter, it is the manifestation of the product of rigorous in—house legal research. At that point, I have made up my mind that the Opinion I am issuing is one I can stand by. The Opinions of 12 August, 2020 and 20 August, 2020, are Opinions I will stand by. The Opinions are correct at law,” emphasizes Silungwe.
He says it will be serious neglect of his constitutional obligation if he were to provide unsound legal advice to Government.
“I will have let myself down. I will have let the people of Malawi down. Since I know that the leakages are not from the Ministry of Justice, I expect colleagues from other Ministries, Departments or Agencies to be the professionals they must be. Leaking my Opinions in the manner it happened on Thursday, 11 February, 2021 is simply silly and immature. I trust that the people of Malawi have seen the last chapter of this absolute and hideous nonsense,” thus he concludes his statement.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :