High Court judge Zione Ntaba has stopped her boss Chief Justice (CJ) Andrew Nyirenda and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) from proceeding to recruit third grade magistrates until the decision is judiciary reviewed.
This follows an application last month by some 16 court clerks working across the country who dragged the two to court for allegedly breaching the law in recruiting the new third grade magistrates.
The judge has granted all the orders that were being sought by the disgruntled court clerks, including the injunctive reliefs against the recruitment of the said magistrates.
High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal registrar Agnes Patemba and lawyer for the court clerks Chancy Gondwe confirmed the development in separate interviews yesterday.
Said Gondwe: “This means the Judicial Service Commission cannot proceed to recruit the new third grade magistrates up until the determination of the substantive judicial review action… The Chief Justice cannot also proceed to appoint the new third grade magistrates.”
On her part, Patemba said they would wait for the outcome of the judicial review proceedings for the way forward.
In her determination, Ntaba agreed with the court clerks that the case is suitable for consideration for judicial review; hence, granting them leave to apply.
She said: “The claimants are granted leave to apply for judicial review and that the matter be expedited. And that all processes should have their times abridged due to the urgency of the matter.”
The displeased clerks, who hold different grades in the judiciary, are challenging the decision made by the two to employ ‘outsiders’ after they were promised to be offered the jobs.
According to the workers, they were assured that upon obtaining their diplomas in law from University of Malawi they would be considered as third grade magistrates.