The Malawi Law Society (MLS) has asked the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to swiftly investigate into allegations that some individuals attempted to bribe the five-member panel of High Court
judges preparing judgement in the presidential elections nullification petition case.
In its letter addressed to ACB director general Reyneck Matemba, the Law Society says it has learnt with grave concern allegations of attempts to corrupt judicial officers handling the Constitutional case Reference Number 1 of 2019.
“ACB as a law enforcement agency is expected to make the necessary investigations and arrests immediately. Public trust in the ACB lies in how it handles, to logical conclusion, high profile cases like the one at hand. Any attempts to subvert the course of justice for whatever reason, would result in untold effects on future cases and attempts to fight cases of corruption,” reads the letter from Law Society.
MLS states that the ACB should therefore investigate and prosecute all suspects on issues of attempts to bribe judicial officers.
“As you may be aware, the Law Society in line with its mandate under section 64 of the Legal Education and Legal Practitioners Act has a public duty to protect and assist the public in Malawi on all matters touching, ancillary or incidental to the law and given the inviolable moral and legal necessity of the judiciary and its role in society, any attempt to severely threaten or undermine rule of law, good governance and subverting delivery of justice through corruption, will be seriously resisted,” reads the letter in part.
The Law Society therefore condemns the alleged acts in fullest measure and calls upon the ACB to strictly execute its core duty to adequately handle the matter and ensure that the outcome of the elections case and any other cases before the judiciary are not affected by such acts and that the judiciary performs all its professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference.
“Considering that there have been in the past allegations of corruption in the judiciary, this report on the alleged acts demonstrates the efforts being taken on the part of the judiciary to fight corruption in the judicial system and such acts can only be commended by bringing those involved in corruption to book.”
High Court of Malawi judges Healey Potani, Ivy Kamanga, Dingiswayo Madise, Redson Kapindu and Mike Tembo make up the five-judge Constitutional Court panel hearing the case.