CSOs want removal of Solicitor General from Malawi maizegate inquiry: Janet Banda accused of reckless assault on the Judiciary through Facebook post

At least 18 civil rights organisations have asked Solicitor General Janet Chikaya Banda to step down from the Peter Mutharika appointed Commission of Inquiry on maizegate following her her comments on social media platform, Facebook, which seemed to imply that the Judiciary was clueless on its powers and functions.

Robert Mkwezalamba : Soliciter General shas exhibited her bias, achoke!

Solicitor General Janet Chikaya-Banda: Posted on Facebook that democratic anarchy is frustrating

Banda’s post followed the High Court order stopping Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda from carrying out his duties pending findings of the commission of inquiry on the Zambia maize saga.

Writing on her personal Facebook page, Banda, who is also Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Principal Secretary, said Malawi was in a “democracy of anarchy” where “some of the three branches of government don’t know exactly what their powers and functions are.”

Banda went on: “[It is] important to know where executive functions start and end! Where the judicial functions start and end and where legislative functions start and end! Democratic anarchy is rather frustrating to constitutional and administrative lawyers such as some of us.”

But the chairperson of Citizen Platform, Robert Mkwezalamba said the statement by Banda compromised her position in the Commission of Inquiry.

“This is why we are asking her to step down, she has already made up her mind on the matter therefore she cannot be impartial,” he said.

Banda has since deleted the post and deactivated her Facebook account.

She refused to comment on the issue when called but told a local radio the Facebook post was meant to ignite academic debate on the matter.

Mkwezalamba on the other hand threatened mass protests should Chaponda fail to step aside as Agriculture minister to pave smooth investigations.

Malawi Law Society president John Suzi Banda and onorary secretary Khumbo Soko faulted Banda for her remarks.

He said as a member of the commission, she was not supposed to write those remarks which he said were reckless and a regrettable assault on the Judiciary.

MLS said being Solicitor General and Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Banda could have approached the court to reverse the decision.

“Statements such as these are potentially contemptuous of the Court and are a needless distraction to the work of the Judiciary,” Soko said.

Commentators argue that  Chikaya Banda had shown her bias by publicly supporting Chaponda in her criticism of the court’s decision.

The Constitution of Malawi, under Section 108 establishing the High Court, states that the Judiciary shall have unlimited original jurisdiction to review any law or decision of the government for conformity with the Constitution with its powers conferred by the Constitution.

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Vin Mongu
Guest
she is wrong and emotional. people asked the hiring authority to set him apart temporaily in interest of impartiality but APM refused even when the minister is an interested party in the inquiry. so what should citizens do when we have a judiciary. we need more john chirwa if we are to correct this country and for politicians to be accountable to us citizens. janet, you are a lawyer but missed the point and according to you whatever the president does our constitution make him accountable to noone? courts are there to check actions of legislature and executive in fairness.… Read more »
Underson
Guest

A Malawife ndife anthu ooknika basi. We are used to suffering, when some people try to open our eyes, we try to close them. The solicitor general did wrong no matter how you much you support her comments.

mbebelezi
Guest

your comment shows immeasurable amount of in born hatred towards the person. anakulakwila chani? how can you say getting an injuction to stifle the system is openong up our eyes, shupiti.
what she said was right. even kanyongolo amene anyasatimes amathamangirako said the decision was extremely unusual.

no matter how much you try to paint her picture bad, she will still shine.

Okoma Atani
Guest

Judiciary died long time ago. What is remaining in judiciary are syndicates or agents of political parties. Tumbuka judges serve tumbuka interests etc. Shaame! shaaame shaame on you wakwithu judges.This injunction reminds us all of sinister/underhand actions of Mzuzu corner of Chanco. Or is this different?

Mulakho
Guest

Shame on you

Munthu wamkulu
Guest

Mkazi ndi wokongola uyu

Miss Malawi wa fake
Guest

She is has a very poor soul.

Giling'ande
Guest

I strongly support your statement Dr. Jane Banda. You said the truth. Its high time these shopped Judges in Mzuzu know their boundaries. Don’t mind those who use foul language. They cannot stand your credentials. They will try but never reach your level.

Psyuta
Guest

What value have dull people like Mkwezalamba added to the Malawi society. Chitsiru chouma mutu. Phokoso basi !!

Pida
Guest

Robert is one of the best people Malawians need to have.

DOBO
Guest

Please clarify,are all president’s powers being exercised including powers of appointing immuned to court injunctions? May be I don’t the aim behind injunctions. Help me Solicitor otherwise your position has been compromised by your comments of which some people have taken advantages to dent your image a commissioner and endangers the outcome of commission of inquiry.

Jelbin mk
Guest
If she was not part and parcel of the commision her remarks were spot on but since she is part of the inquiry she has compromised her position because has proved her biasness there for she should honourably seced from the commission. However inn Malawi there has been no separation of power among three arms of government. Especially the judicially has always undermined it fellow franches of government it has not really known where its powers end the constitution is clear that no any arm of government shall interfere with operations of another arm in discharging its duties. But what… Read more »
J. B. C Atate
Guest

When a decision is so outrageous and unreasonable, people are forced to comment even when the situation demanded they remained quiet.

Director
Guest

We work with her and we know how emotional she is. She does not think but lets her hormones guide her actions. Just spend 5 minutes interacting with her and you shall understand what kind of an accident she is. Head on collision!!!!

Dr Madalitso Mumba
Guest

She is like Fideria Moyo working for Irrigation Department. A complete mediocre person.

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