President Mutharika asked to rectify Muhara’s mess on Law Commissioner contract

Malawi’s leading daily newspaper The Nation has  urged President Peter Mutharika through  its editorial comment to rectify the mess by Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Lloyd Muhara who has come under fire for illegally extending the contract of Law Commissioner Gertrude Hiwa contrary to  what the Constitution stipulates.

Muhara faulted on Law Commissioner contract

Law Commissioner, Gertrude Hiwa: reminded Muhara about the expiry of her term

Nyasa Times were the first to report about the ‘impunity ‘ this week  and quoted human rights defenders who argued that the Chief Secretary had the constitutional mandate to extend Law Commissioner’s term beyond the maximum 10 years as provided by Section 134 (2) of the Constitution.

Section 133 of the Constitution provides that the President, on the recommendation of Judicial Service Commission (JSC), shall appoint the Law Commissioner and Section 134(2) states that  a commissioner shall serve a term of not more than five years and can be appointed for a further term or terms not exceeding five years.

But in a letter to Hiwa dated July 27 2018, Muhara, himself a  lawyer, advised the Law Commissioner to continue working as until a decision regarding her deployment is made.

In an editorial comment, The Nation,  said President Mutharika – who is a respected international constitutional lawyer and Muhara, a judge of the High Court of Malawi – should  know better.

“The President has to rectify this mess and must be seen to be respecting the dictates of the Constitution,” reads the comment.

It states that Hiwa is not at fault as she did her best to alert the Chief Secretary to Government in writing  on two occasions  that her contract is expiring.

In his response, Muhara said: “I have taken note of your notification. I wish to advise that you should continue to serve to continue working as Law Commissioner until the decision regarding your deployment is made.”

The paper described Muhara’s response as “casual” that does not reflect well on how his office handles such matters.

It also faults Muhara for side-stepping the Judicial Service Commission, the body constitutionally mandated to recommend to the President for a new appointment or extension and is chaired by Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda.

Muhara has been told to reverse the decision and ensure that the law and the Constitution is respected .

In their statement jointly signed by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC)  chairperson Timothy Mtambo and vice-chairperson Gift Trapence, HRDC demanded that Hiwa repays to government all the benefits that have accrued as both a Law Commissioner and a member of Malawi Human Rights Commission after June 23, arguing such benefits were unconstitutionally and illegally obtained.

The coalition has also asked the President to appoint a new Law Commissioner as provided in the Constitution.

In an interview with Nyasa Times, governance experts Makhumbo Munthali further suggested that all processes of nominating individuals to be members of Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) should be suspended or put on hold until a new Law Commissioner is appointed as what is currently happening is illegal and unconstitutional by virtue of Hiwa being part of those leading this process.

 

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manyozo
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manyozo

” Such ” is English determiner , predeterminer , & pronoun
it May mean “of the type previously mentioned” or ” of the type to be mentioned” – it is significant to note that further term or terms may be of the previous type, meaning not exceeding 5 years each as defined or as a predeterminer that the further term or terms should not exceed 5 years as defined. no clause for 10 years as a maximum is defined in this borrowed language from our colonial masters

manyozo
Guest
manyozo

CSOs and media Propaganda at play………………Section 134(2) i quote, “The Law Commissioner shall serve a term of not more than five years but he or she may be appointed for such further term or terms not exceeding five years as the president shall, on recommendation of judicial Service Commission, determined” My question would be is there a determination in the clause that a maximum of terms is 10 years? hell no! one can serve further terms only that each term should not exceed 5 years. There is nothing like a maximum of 10 years here

Central
Guest
Central

Everybody is serving Malawians just like their biological kids!! Ndizovutanso kukhulupilira kuti anthuwa anapita ku school za ukachenjede pa za malamulo!! Kodi ngati ma office utsogolera kuyendetsa dziko lino ndiwo ali patsogolo kuphwanya malamulo anthu wamba nde atani pamenepa? Koma ziliko ku Malawi!

365 watch 24/7
Guest
365 watch 24/7

Should we say kuti our Constitution is that weak with too many loopholes or is it that may be these Grannie’s went to school to get papers with good grades and not to learn and understand the basic principles of education. They are making too many mistakes.

#DzukaniAmalawi
Guest
#DzukaniAmalawi

Since when has President Mutharika ever listened to anyone. Haven’t we ever learnt our lesson with his deafness to people plight in the last 4 years.

365 watch 24/7
Guest
365 watch 24/7

Its not about what people say. He is mandated to respect the Constitution when exercising his power because it is the same Constitution that put his presidence in excistance. Executive arrogance has concequences and one thing i know for sure is that his time is near. He won’t be the president of this nation forever

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