The office of the Chief Justice is now free from being encroached by the Executive arm of government after a High Court in Lilongwe has ruled that f the country’s immediate-past president Peter Mutharika and former chief secretary to government Lloyd Muhara had no powers to force Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda and Justice Edward Twea or any other judge to proceed on leave pending retirement.
Prior to the fresh presidential election, Muhara wrote Nyirenda and Twea asking them to proceed on leave saying they had accumulated more leave days.
However, Malawi Law Society, Association of Magistrates in Malawi and Human Rights Defenders Coalition challenged the decision.
The applicants sought judicial review on the decision by the then president and secretary to cabinet.
They also made a plea that costs of the case be personally paid by Mutharika and Muhara to avoid wasting tax payers money.
In his ruling, High Court judge Charles Mkandawire faulted Mutharika and Muhara for interfering with roles of judiciary saying issue of leave is an internal issue for the judiciary.
He said the executive arm of government has no powers to dictate affairs of judiciary as the judiciary is an independent arm of government and is equal to the executive and parliament.
Mkandawire also faulted Mutharika for stating in his state of national address that parliament was more superior than judiciary.
He said Mutharika wanted to mislead the nation and interfere with judicial independence.
On the issue of costs, Mkandawire has pended the hearing to a later date saying there is need to summon Mutharika and Muhara so that they are represented considering that the lawyer for Mutharika and Muhara dumped the two on the costs issue.
The court will within seven days communicate to Mutharika and Muhara to have them represented in the costs issue.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :