Commonwealth condemns forced retirement of Malawi’s chief justice and another judge

The Commonwealth secretariat has  condemned  attempts by the Malawi government to remove the country’s Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and Justice of Appeal Edward Twea days before fresh presidential elections.

Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda 

On Friday, the government  through Chief Secretary to the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC), Lloyd  Muhara – a High Court Judge on secondment to government – announced that Chief Justice Nyirenda had been placed on leave pending retirement with immediate effect.

The notice read that  Nyirenda had accumulated more leave days than the remainder of his working days until his retirement, due in December 2021.

However, high court judges granted injunctions preventing the move after the Malawi Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), the Association of Magistrates, and the Malawi Law Society lodged appeals against it.

In a statement, Commonwealth spokesperson calls on Malawi government o respect separation of powers.

“The Commonwealth family is deeply concerned about the stalemate between the Executive and the Judiciary in Malawi. We urge all stakeholders to adhere to the Constitution,” reads the statement in part.

It adds: “ As Malawi prepares to hold its fresh presidential election, I would like to encourage all political actors and stakeholders to respect these values and follow faithfully and loyally the spirit and the letter of Malawi’s Constitution.”

Chief Justice Nyirenda made a referral of the last year’s elections petition  by opposition to Constitution Court which  in February annulled the results which saw a narrow win for incumbent president Peter Mutharika.

The ruling was upheld by the appeal court last month. Fresh elections are expected to take place on 23 June.

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Wawa
Wawa
8 months ago

The Commonwealth Secretariat must read section 12 (2b) of Malawi Judiciary condition of service. They may also want to talk to Distinguished former Chief Justices Lovemore Munlo and Ananstanzia Msosa about the same. Chief Justice Nyirenda has not been fired. He is just proceeding on leave pending Retirement. What’s wrong with that ? The man will still enjoy FULL benefits of his office while chilling with loved ones. On the hand hand, on health grounds, It should be illegal in Malawi for a Professional to work five successive years without leave. This is not good for one’s health. Kodi Anthu… Read more »

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
8 months ago

We’re kicking out these dunderheads next week anyway.

Banda
Banda
8 months ago

See VERY BAD THINGS FOR Malawi if the President is RE-Elected with No support from our International Partners,

mfumujay
mfumujay
8 months ago

Zamanyazi! Mutharika Administration, mukutipangitsa manyazi ngati dziko lolemekeza malamulo.

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