Lilongwe-based High Court Judge Charles Mkandawire has conceeded that corruption exists in the Judiciary which has recently been tarnished with allegations of judge shopping.
Other observers say in most of the times corruption starts with lawyers and not with judges and magistrates.
But in published interview on Saturday, Mkandawire who has been elected president of the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA) during its annual general assembly held in Australia, said corruption there is indeed Judicial corruption.
He said the subject that has been a very relevant topic for discussion in most CMJA conferences.
Judge Mkandawire said one of the topics for discussion during the just ended conference where he was elected president and general assembly in Australia was “A privilege to serve the nation – Fighting corruption and maladministration”.
He said in quotes reported by Weekend Nation: “We in the Malawi Judiciary have accepted that corruption does exist in the Judiciary. We do not want to leave in a fools’ paradise where we become so defensive about judicial corruption.”
Mkandawire said it it is because of this realisation that the The Chief Justice had decided to establish the Judicial Integrity Committee chaired by a High Court judge.
“This committee does sensitise judicial officers and staff on the evils of corruption in the judiciary. It investigates complaints of corruption in the judiciary and makes recommendations to the Judicial Service Commission which may even lead to prosecution,” he said.
During the published interview, Mkandawire also commented on concerns from the public on delays in the country’s courts to issue judgments.
“It’s true that there has been an outcry on delayed judgments. This problem is common in most commonwealth countries and it is largely due to understaffing of judges as well as lack of human capital such as legal researchers for the judicial officers especially the judges.
“ As CMJA President, I have to navigate carefully on some of these issues. Firstly, after understanding the constraints of our Judiciary, we have to take stock of these delayed judgments through the office of the Judges-In-charge and the Office of the Chief Justice,” he said.
Mkandaqwire disclosed that through the Office of the Chief Justice, delayed judgments has already been identified as a problem in the country’s Judiciary and “strategies have been put in place on how to mitigate this issue.”
Meanwhile, Mkandawire will lead a council of 30 members drawn from the association’s six regions for the next three years.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :