President Peter Mutharika has called on the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature to work together for the prosperity of Malawians.
The President said this yesterday at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre when he presided over the swearing-in of three newly appointed High Court of Malawi judges.
The swearing-in of the new judges Chimwemwe Kamowa, Texious Masoamphambe and Jabbar Alide has brought the number of judges to 37, comprising nine Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal and 28 High Court judges.
In his speech after the judges were sworn in, Mutharika said despite the Judiciary being an independent organ of the government, it is not mandated to make all decisions for the country.
He said as a head of State, he will always respect the independence of the Judiciary in the country.
Said Mutharika: “The Judiciary is one of the three arms
of government, but let it be clear that in any country in the world, the independence of the Judiciary does not mean that the Judiciary is a government in itself.
“The independence of the Judiciary only means that the Judiciary is allowed to judge cases without interference from the other arms of government. But it does not mean that the Judiciary should not be accountable to anyone.”
He emphasised that for the Judiciary to enjoy its independence, it also needs to exercise strong accountability and internal integrity mechanisms that enforce ethical conduct and discipline among judges.
Mutharika then urged the three judges to be impartial when executing their duties.
He quoted 2 Chronicles Chapter 19 verses 6 and 7 which interpret the meaning of judgment. He said Malawians expect the Judiciary to be a place of unquestionable high integrity and professionalism.
Said Mutharika: “I expect you to administer justice
with fairness and impartiality.
Malawians expect the Judiciary to be transparent. They expect judges to be accountable at all times. Are we transparent? Are we accountable?”
The President’s statement comes barely two months after he faulted the Constitutional Court ruling that nullified the May 21 2019 presidential election results on February 3 2020 and ordered a fresh election within 150 days.
He described the judgement as subversion of justice and an attack on the country’s democratic system and an attempt to undermine the will of the people.
In an interview after the ceremony, Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda commended Mutharika for appointing the three judges.
He, however, said the new judges will not bring much change as four other judges, two each from the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal and the High Court are expected to retire this year.
According to Judiciary spokesperson Agness Patemba the judges set to retire are Maclean Kamwambe, Jane Ansah, Anthony Kamanga and Esmie Chombo.
Asked on whether the Judiciary and Executive arms are at loggerheads following the Constitutional Court ruling and judge bribe claims which he reported to the Anti- Corruption Bureau, Nyirenda said misunderstandings are inevitable between all arms of the government.
Kamowa has been working with the Judiciary for over 12 years as a judicial officer. For the last six years, she has been chairperson of the Industrial Relations Court.
Masoamphambe has served as a resident magistrate, rising through the ranks since 2000 before his appointment as deputy registrar of the High Court in 2018.
Alide, on the other hand, has over 25 years experience as legal counsel in corporate and commercial law.