Former Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara has dared Chief Secretary to the Government, Lloyd Muhara, challenging him to rescind government decision to send Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda on leave pending retirement or face repercussions.
Muhara, in a public notice dated July 12 2020, said government wanted to inform the public that the Chief Justice (CJ) would proceed on leave with immediate effect, pending retirement.
But Kasambara, who also served as the Attorney General during the Joyce Banda administration, laughs off the notice, arguing it is irregular, warning that it may prompt the Malawi Law Society (MLS) to go after Muhara if he does not reverse his decision.
“Bwana Hon Justice Muhara! I beg you in the name of judicial ethics. Please, withdraw that Notice. Otherwise, MLS will go for you and apart from yours truly who has no licence. Ikafika pa MLS attacking your move, it means zafika pa mwana wakana mkaka,” said Kasambara in his post on Facebook.
Kasambara is regarded as one of the brillilant lawyers on the soil but he lost his licence to practice as he was convicted to 13 years for conspiracy to murder former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo. He is on bail after serving his sentence in prison for one year and seven months and now pending an appeal.
On his notice, Muhara said Nyirenda has accumulated more leave days than the remainder of his working days to his retirement date.
“In accordance with the Constitution, the most senior Justice of Appeal will act as Chief Justice until such a time His Excellency the President will appoint a successor,” reads the public notice.
But some law experts have faulted the Executive’s move and have described the development as a continuation of assault on the Judiciary.
Professor of law at University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, Garton Kamchedzera, said the Chief Secretary to Government has no such powers to ask the Chief Justice to proceed on leave, arguing “that is a shameful attack on the Judiciary”.
The Youth and Society (YAS) executive director Charles Kajoloweka accused Muhara of meddling in the tenure of office of the Chief Justice.
Kajoloweka challenged that the Chief Secretary to the Government does not have anhy business to meddle in the tenure of office of the Chief Justice.
“We know it’s the Executive’s attempt to overthrow the Judiciary. It’s a coup. We are all invited to stop this criminal scheme,” wrote Kajoloweka on his Facebook page.
The Chief Justice is appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and confirmed by the National Assembly by a majority of two thirds of members present and voting.
Justice Nyirenda will be remembered for the landmark ruling of the presidential election case in which the 2019 presidential election was nullified on grounds of massive irregularities.
Following the election appeal case judgment, President Peter Mutharika has been castigating the Judiciary for robbing him of his victory based on irregularities that never changed the original results of any candidate in the presidential race.
Chief Justice Nyirenda was born on 26 December, 1956, and was appointed Chief Justice in March 2015.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :