Malawi govt sends Chief Justice on leave pending retirement: Law scholar faults move

Government has sent Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda on leave pending retirement, according to a public notice from chief secretary to government Lloyd Muhara.

Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda’s  sent of forced leave pending retirment
Muhara: President Mutharika will appoint a new Chief Justice
Danwood Chirwa, a South Africa-based law expert, says it is clear assault on judicial independence

The notice says Nyirenda has accumulated more leave days than the remainder of his working days to retirement age.

“In accordance with the Constitution, the most senior Justice of Appeal will act as Chief Justice until such time as His Excellency the President will appoint a successor,” says the notice.

But South Africa-based law professor Danwood Chirwa says Chief Secretary Lloyd Muhara’s move telling Chief Justice  Nyirenda to ‘take leave with immediate effect pending his retirement’ in ‘unlawful and a clear assault on judicial independence’ moving from mere threats on political podiums to concrete action.

“This is the work of a government, illegitimate to begin with, afraid of itself and of a likely loss on 23 June, desperate to take revenge on the judiciary before it left power,” writes professor Chirwa.

Chirwa, who is Dean of Law at the University of Cape Town, explains that the office of the Chief Secretary has neither business nor legal authority to comment on internal management decisions of the judiciary.

“The issue of leave, to be clear, is an internal HR issue over which the Chief Justice himself has ultimate authority. The Chief Secretary could do will to stay in his lane,” he says.

Chirwa further expounds that Muhara’s notice has no legal effect, adding he has sought to arrogate to himself the power he doesn’t have, underlining he has acted without legal authority.

“He’s acted unlawfully. Even if he had legal authority, which he doesn’t have, the legal basis of his authority would be unconstitutional. Reasons: judicial independence and separation of powers,” he explains.

“Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda will leave office on 31 December 2021, more than one and a half years from now.

“And so Chief Justice Nyirenda is not going on leave with immediate effect as intimated by Muhara. On the contrary, he still has more than one and half years to lead the judiciary, to the rule of law and the Constitution.”

President Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government have of late been suffering embarrassing court defeats.

Mutharika has publicly condemned court judges over mishandling of some cases.

During the state of the nation address, Mutharika said judges are not immune from criticism and said parliament is above the judiciary.

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GOLOGOLO
GOLOGOLO
8 months ago

nditakhala ine CJ nditha kungosetela kalatayo……. i dont deal with idiots

Dan
Dan
8 months ago

Stupid utteraces from big empty tin. Who is nepotic between him and the old filthy hug you are protecting? please stop supporting the nonsense that your old hug is propergating and stand on the truth to build this country’s unity or risk separating yourself from those who support the truth

Kandulu
Kandulu
8 months ago

This was a stupid move by APM once more showing his foolishness of the Law. Now he has to defend his move in the court. Cowards die many times before their death. Our laws does not recognise this move. A Chief Justice, Speaker of Parliament and the President can only be removed through impeachment. If he has problems with the Chief Justice, take the matter to parliament so that he can be impeached. I say again this was a stupid move and Muhara needs to appear before the court. They have just increased the Chief Justice retirement package next year.

Lameki
8 months ago

Azipita Galu ameneyu. The most nepotistic Chief Justice ever. Nothing just about him. Mbuzi yamano kunsi

Kangaroo
Kangaroo
8 months ago

Ndi Plot yoti yemwe asankhe adzachedwe ndikukana kulumbilitsa president watsopano. Komanso adzalumbiritse pita osawina monga Muja anapangila Bakili. Kapena pita yemweyu usiku.

ignatius
8 months ago

Pitani muzikawathandiza a mfumu a kwanu kusokoneza milandu, tathana nanu basi

Barristers United
Barristers United
8 months ago

Time to remove old laws dealing with retirement.of Associate and Chief Justice.
Chief Justice and members of the Supreme Court SHOULD NOT be subject to forced retirement SHOULD HAVE LIFE TENURE but left to the judiciary Commission and Justice to decide when to resign or retire.
USA currently has an 87 year Associate Justice Ruth Ginsberg on the bench 26 years another Stephen Breyer 81 years on the bench 25 years.
Courts MUST BE INDEPENDANT not political.

mbwiye
8 months ago

Peter Wamthalika amafuna aziba koma asafusidwe. aziononga asafusidwe. omufusa walakwisa. amafuna azipanga nyasi zake. He thinks ndiofunikila kwambiri ku Mtundu wa-amalawi. akuiwala kuti watichedwesa, munthu opanda pake, or kuti osafunikila uyu.

Tell him, this time akupita basi.

Tedac
Tedac
8 months ago

Andrew Nyirenda has got days to remain in office
Akuchoka eti. Nanunso Che Muhara kwachuluka bwanji
Muziwerengako Malamulo oyendetsera dziko osamangomvera maganizo a ma cadet.
Apapa zikuonetseratu kuti mutu wa a neba siikugwira apatseni madzi amwe

Jose
Jose
8 months ago

Uchisiru uja timaunena ndi umeneu.stupid chief secretary watsala ndi masiku 9 uzipita nepitistic mchifukwa maudindo umasankha mtundu umodzi.ungalembere chief justice kalata yopusa ngati imeneyi.upandu eti.unakhalanawo pa meeting yaupandu eti.upandu umeneu.kodi ungathe kuchotsa speaker iweyo kapena chief justice is head of judiciary and speaker is head of parliament.iweyo is head of civil service or public service and president over see the three bodies.President can remove you wamva but cannot fire speaker or Chief justice.Its only parliament with two third majority that can fire chief justice.mukutengera zinthu pa mtundu bwanji.Chakwera and Chilima remove this foolish chief secretary has nothing to offer to… Read more »

Lameki
8 months ago
Reply to  Jose

Waluta chindere chakufikapo. Mbwengu. Nyani wachabechabe.

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