Mpinganjira’s midnight walk to freedom under scrutiny: Magistrate Chitsakamile should resign

The events surrounding the arrest of business mogul Thom Mpinganjira, who is also chief executive officer of FDH Financial Holdings Limited and shareholder over   the alleged judge bribery attempt in the presidential election nullification petition case is confusing as it is a mockery of justice.

Mpinganjira arrested over judges bribery attempts claim but a court released him midnight

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Wednesday arrested Mpinganjira and took him to police where he was to be remanded overnight and expected to appear in court the following day. However, Malawians woke up to the news that Mpinganjira had been released at midnight by a Zomba magistrate  Ben Chitsakamile where his lawyers travelled to obtain his discharge.

The Mpinganjira saga raises several issues. Those who are familiar with the Malawian legal system know that a magistrate cannot overrule the decision of his fellow magistrate. They are of the same rank. Naturally, a higher court is supposed to nullify the decision of the lower court after both side are heard. Where did the magistrate get the power to nullify the decision of his fellow magistrate?

That aside, why should the lawyers opt to go to Zomba, more than 55 kilometres away from Blantyre, to challenge the decision of another magistrate when Mpinganjira was arrested in Blantyre?  Obviously, this is judge shopping. And the judiciary should discourage this practice because the motive is obvious. It is equally queer that the court should sit at midnight just because the person involved in the case is rich. This privilege of freeing a rich person at midnight is not extended to poor people many of whom are languishing in prison for minor offences such as stealing a chicken or a goat.

We know that lawyers do not always stand for justice, but to make money. However, magistrates and judges must always dispense justice because they are a mirror of society and people expect impartial judicial decisions. If they pass questionable decisions or behave in a manner that is prejudicial to their profession people lose trust and confidence in the judicial system. ACB Director Reyneck Matemba has branded the judiciary “rotten” because of the way magistrates and judges make their decisions.

The Zomba magistrate has seriously dented the image of the judiciary. He should resign. He has brought the legal professional in disrepute.  How do you free someone at midnight when the ACB who filed the case has not been heard?

When Malawians are complaining about high level corruption and frantic efforts are made to arrest the vice, we have some people condoning it. The war against corruption, which has now reached unprecedented level, cannot be won unless the judiciary make correct decisions.

It is a huge relief to learn that the ACB has gone to the High Court to reverse the irrational decision and the matter is being reviewed. However, this should not end here. The magistrate should resign or face disciplinary action.

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achairda
Guest
achairda

this judge must resign indeed and he might be a cadet also

guest
Guest
guest

It seems we should challenge rulings of courts unless we agree with the outcome. First and foremost, we have to respect the rule of law, and the role of those entrusted with upholding that law, and accept their ruling. Of course we also have to have a process to deal with cases that abuse that power – like the impeachment process now underway in the USA. This guy Thom is one of few outstanding success stories in Malawi, Wishing him well

Mkamwini mwini
Guest

That fool guy must Resign

tung'ande
Guest
tung'ande

What is more suprising is that if the high court claims what Chisakamire did was irregular and out of order, why not just ignore his order and proceed with the arrest. They are wasting time calling for an irregular file. There is something big that our simple eyes are not seeing.

Malawian
Guest
Malawian

It started with Jane Ansah and Peter Mutharika coming all these

jogoda
Guest
jogoda

pliz take it. judges do error. this is why the law allows appeal and judgement do change which means the lower court errered. This is just an error no need to be fired. secondly how many cases have been held at night. this is not the first time many injections have been done at midnight and the judiciary has did not do anything. if not mistaken they say judges work 24hrs.

kanchenga
Guest
kanchenga

Very pathetic way of thinking

Chilipa Thako
Guest

Bravo Chitsakamile some of these laws are supposed to be tested and broken just to see how they will affect the system .

Phalombewatch
Guest
Phalombewatch

Matemba you are wasting with these people all Lhomwes are thieves and see it yourself.

Lilongwe
Guest

All lomwes are thieves? Are you sure.? What tribe are you,? Iwe bakha eti. Upite ukakwatirane ndi Joyce Banda. Have you done simple logic,? your hate attitude is pathetic. All lomwes?

Keen Observer
Guest
Keen Observer

Dont be offended he is joking

kanchenga
Guest
kanchenga

There is nothing hateful here. It’s a fact all lhomwes are thieves indeed. As a matter of warning don’t have a child with a lhomwe woman he will be a thief or a whore if it is a girl. Haven’t you noticed how glorified corruption has been during their reign

Mitengo
Guest
Mitengo

These are thoughts of dogs who even eat human feaces.

Pwiti
Guest
Pwiti

Judiciary ya ku Malawi wayiphwaula Ben Chitsakamile a Chief Justice m’maso mbee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ife wathu Peter

Kapado Chimulirenji
Guest

Lowani Mtonga wangokopera article ya mzako Makossa eti?

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