Off the wall of Makossah: Is Mpinganjira above the law and ACB below it?

Strategic lawyering remains a monument to the value of long-term planning in the law and legal echelons, for any attorney worth his or her salt, although it must be quickly said that most Law Schools no longer make them strategic lawyers in abundance because strategic lawyering requires not legal principles, knowing or understanding the law but legal wisdom – which is uncommon.

Mpinganjira released from custody and warrant of arrest has been declared by court as void

Strategic lawyers are a dying breed.

Good lawyers knows the law, but the best lawyers are strategic in every step of their lawyering. Wise legal strategists are more important to clients than those that just help their clients out of jail or a holding police cell.

My Law Professor, who is a revered senior serving Judge in Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals, once told me that if I want to make a good lawyer, I have to master the art of strategic lawyering.

Most lawyers, the Law Professor told me, probably think they are clever because they think about how to maneuver within the legal system. That’s not it. Good lawyering goes beyond getting someone out of jail or winning a case, it considers the long-term positives, repercussions and rewards.

Strategic lawyering looks at the big picture and not just a shapshot in litigation. In real world clients want their lawyers to them what they can do more than what they can’t do.

It is the duty of the lawyers not to tell their clients what  they want to hear but what is right and in line with the law. Clients must in no way tell a lawyer what they want to do no matter how rich or powerful. A lawyer must always be in charge and acting in the interest of both the law and the client in equal measures.

The worst thing that a lawyer can do is but to please a client because he or she is so powerful or is highly connected at the expense of what is acceptable by the law and the justice system.

Business of Litigation

In litigation, legal strategy does not begin with filing a complaint and end after completing a trial. It should start when the client first enters the office and extend for the life of the business relationship.

This extends to how you discuss issues with your client. When you raise an issue, with whom you raise it, how you raise it — in all of these situations, you again need to think of long-term consequences.

Long-term planning is a way of thinking. It is a lawyering habit, a skill or technique that can be learned.

Sadly, many I see lawyers in Malawi who not only don’t think or operate strategically; they don’t conduct their business without strategy or wisdom, they don’t even appreciate the importance of thinking this way.

There is a reason a lawyer is addressed as a Counsel – it is conveniently because they give their clients, innocent or guilty of an offence, some good legal counselling.

In Thom Mpinganjira’ s case, his lawyers, whoever they are, there is no strategic lawyering or legal wisdom. The way the lawyers have handled this case, on the given known facts, is unbelievable and out of sorts. On the face of it, it may look like a clever move but it isn’t. It is bad lawyering in my view.

Yes, Thom Mpinganjira, who was nabbed by the country’s graft busting body, ACB for being suspected of attempting the judges presiding over the May 2019 presidential elections after obtaining a warrant of arrest from the Magistrate Courts in Lilongwe was set free outside working hours, just after midnight, in a way everyone can only speculate anything.

Were there no magistrates in Blantyre?

As a matter of legal fact, a warrant issued by a magistrate cannot be invalidated or vacated by another magistrate.

By the way, what is the reason of invalidating the warrant of arrest and letting Thom Mpinganjira go off the hook before going to court for a legal process to do so?

What’s the long term plan for the case? Do the lawyers really think this will just go away and that this will be the end of the case? What is the strategy for doing this?

Is Mpinganjira above the law and the ACB below it?

And the Magistrate who corruptly quashed the warrant in the stillness of the night, is he aware that the complainant in this case is his employer and it was reported by his Chief Executive?

Did Mpinganjira’s lawyers consider the consequences of this or they just wanted to play a one minute legal stupid trick and go back to as it were? Did they consider their client’s reputation and long term believability issues?

Do they want their client to be remembered as a crook who got released from the police through crookedness?

Again, why was a deputy minister of defence who is is also a Member of Parliament meddling in this case? How can a public servant act as private servant against the very same public service that he serves? What is the strategy? A Mpinganjira fighting for a Mpinganjira? A lawyer ‘dislawyering’ the law?

Malawi Law Society, is this allowed?

All in all, there is no strategic lawyering or legal wisdom wisdom in all this and the legal profession must be ashamed.

  • The article is taken from the Facebook wall of Peter Makossah a journalist and trained legal practitioner 

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Keith Limalima
Guest
Keith Limalima

Mpinganjira probably has all APM’s 3 direct numbers in his phone, they sip single malt whisky together at weekends. He probably holds a diplomatic passport (entitled or not). As we speak, the entire government top bass is in overdrive to ensure that he doesn’t get re arrested. He’s probably already been whisked out of the country; after all, he’s a free man. So to answer your question, Is he above the law? YES! YES! YES! That’s how we roll in Malawi

Mayamiko Mvula
Guest
Mayamiko Mvula

Peter, although your comments are made with the best of intentions the truth remains that these guys will get away with it. There is a long precedence of so called ‘top dogs’ in Malawi getting away with criminality with impunity; Bikoko, Kasambala, Mphwiyo….the list is endless. These guys are well connected and owed favours by pretty much everyone; from the police, the army, public workers and beyond. The fact that this guy had the audacity to approach High Court judges to attempt to corrupt them shows the level of his lack of respect for the system. It prove me right,… Read more »

Mkamwini mwini
Guest

Titeo you are a Dog

Titeo
Guest

If you want justice then Tembo should be taken back to court for taking an upper hand killing the four ministers . Mpinganjira hasn’t killed anybody. This is mare jelousy. The lawyer who betrayed him should also be arrested. He was bitter because he was not given the money by mpinganjira.
Malawians their ignorance is that they don’t know the meaning of allegation and doing the actual thing
We want to know the name of the judge who reported the issue.sovtgst we deal with him.

Wawa aNgoni
Guest
Wawa aNgoni

Thanks for the article. You have hammered the right point for consideration in legal professional

Lego
Guest

We are like sailing in a sinking ship.This is what Malawi has become now.Which schools did Mbeta and this stupid judge go?I feel sorry with this young man Mbeta who has put money first than following the laws of our country.Do you not think that this country will be lead by DPP forever.Be a role model to those who will be lawyers than your foolishness.Just waiting for the law experts to deliver and tell us what could be the next step.VIVA OUR COUNTRY MALAWI!!!

Phwiti
Guest
Phwiti

All of them did not go to Chanco

#NextPresident
Guest

In Malawi,it seems like all those that are wealthy or are within connections to the DPP ruiling party are all above the LAW.there is no Law in Malawi.
This issues is within the Jurisdiction of Blantyre,how can a Magistrate from Zomba be involved in this???and within the odd hours of the night???… there is something fishy about this whole saga.

khumhro
Guest
khumhro

Chief Justice cannot play around with these Lawyer and magistrate because they read books. Thom is too rich than anyone in the country

Mandado@147
Guest

Rich but will still die like the rest of us! His money didn’t save his wife from dying last year! We all equally God’s loved creation! On the books sounds like you the one that needs to read books than those you mentioned judging from your ignorance.

Arafat Hamdan
Guest

This is well understood. My request to the Judiciary is that there must be fairness in all the cases regardless of what caliber the offender has. This reminds me the case of Ralph Kasambara where after the judgement by the Court of Law, one Judge used his wisdom to free him and up to date Kasambara is enjoying his freedom. Can our Courts follow this case as well and inform the nation where we went wrong and what is the way to go now.

KWANU MKWANU
Guest
KWANU MKWANU

I have never seen currupted lawyers like those in Malawi. This is only showing curruption and nothing else. Plse ma Nyasaland wake up gents. This guy could have been kepted in jail at least 24hrs.

Phiribena
Guest
Phiribena

Magistrate ku Zomba anadya kwambiri ndalama and those lawyers are too rich than High Court Judges.

Nkhuzi
Guest
Nkhuzi

I wonder how Dr. Mpinganjira accepted this gesture from his lawyers. Did he think the case would end just like that? You better have prepared well to challenge the allegations in a court of law. This shortcut is in no way short and the case cannot just go away like that, you ought to have thought through it. Is it probably the DPP way of doing business. It reflects badly looking at how MSB was acquired by FDH, FDH’s claim from government over sale of MSB, how government paid bank loan for a private entity, how advances were made to… Read more »

MLORE GENTS _G. B.
Guest

I like your analysis well spoken my dear.

Phiribena
Guest
Phiribena

To give Thom another bail it means that the Judge is dull