Malawi Law Society (MLS) Mzuzu Chapter have given the Chief Justice 21 days to post two more Judges for the High Court in Mzuzu saying the presence of one Judge – Dingiswayo Madise- at the Mzuzu Registry is a disservice to people seeking justice.
MLSMzuzu Chapter President Victor Gondwe said the Chapter will chart the way forward if their demand is not met after the expiry of this period.
“The presence of one judge is a serious issue to justice delivery,” Gondwe said.
In a seven page petition to the Chief Justice and the Supreme Court of Malawi and signed by 14 Law firms and Legal Houses, the lawyers noted that the only Judge at the Mzuzu High court is overwhelmed with both administrative and judicial commitments.
The petition has also been copied to the Office of the President and Cabinet, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Attorney General, Solicitor General, the Registrar of the High Court and the Malawi Law Society President.
“ Whenever the same and only Judge is outside the Northern region but a need for an urgent relief arises, say an interlocutory injunction, the whole northern region is handicapped and incapable of obtaining the said relief for the duration the judge is away hence defeating the very objective of ensuring access to justice,” reads part of the petition.
The lawyers said as an interim relief, the Chief Justice must send one extra Judge as matter of urgency.
Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula has said efforts are being made to deploy another judge to Mzuzu.
Malawi has 34 judges of which 12 belong to the Supreme Court of Appeal and 22 to the High Court. Of the High Court judges, Mzuzu has one, Blantyre 10, Lilongwe seven and Zomba two.