A 50 year old man on Tuesday morning appearing in a court in Mzuzu to answer charges of unlawful wounding after he allegedly stabbed an Industrial Court official over delayed judgment on a labour matter case.
Mzuzu police spokesperson Paul Tembo said the suspect, John Hopkins Mbowe stabbed court interpreter Washington Mwenelupembe four times after accusing him of holding on to a judgment in a labour case that was concluded three years ago.
“We arrested the suspect on Monday and he is due to appear in court today (Tuesday). The victim was referred to Mzuzu Hospital after he suffered multiple stab injuries,” said Tembo.
It was not immediately known the judge who was hearing the case but according to sources, the Industrial Court in Mzuzu takes time to deliver judgments, saying there are cases who were heard seven years ago but judgments are not yet delivered.
Tembo said Mbowe had gone to the court early on Monday asking Mwenelupembe to either give him money or the judgment otherwise he would be stabbed.
“When he came back, the second time, he had a knife with him and stabbed Mr. Mwenelupembe four times before people came to his rescue,” Tembo told journalists.
Officials from the Industrial Court, whose jury include trade unionists and representatives of employers, are yet to comment on the matter on why it takes years to deliver judgments on already heard cases.
In February, Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda raised on delayed delivery of judgments during a two-day judges’ meeting in Mangochi.
Chief Justice took the concerns raised by the court users over overdue rulings seriously and directed all judges to finalise their outstanding judgements by September this year failing which action would be taken on them.
Over the years, court users have been complaining of lengthy period the courts take to have their matters resolved due to various factors such as procedures and undue delays by judges to deliver judgments