Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu on Friday assured the resource constrained Judiciary that resources will be made available to discharge its duties.
In recent years, the Judiciary has suffered huge budget cuts whose impact is already being felt through a slowdown in services delivery in some cases.
But Tembenu, speaking at a farewell party for the recently retired Chief Justice Anastasia Msosa in Blantyre, said he would take up the issue with the Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe and make sure enough funds are provided.
The minister, a private practice lawyer before his appointment to Cabinet last July, said every time he reads issues about the Judiciary in the newspapers, he takes the view that people should be talking to each other instead of shouting.
Tembenu said nowadays there are several experts in different sectors; hence, it is important, while listening more, to get down to work.
In his remarks, Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda observed that there have been justice ministers from the legal profession before who gave assurances of creating a conducive environment for the Judiciary, but nothing happened.
He also said there have been justice ministers before who have called them “barefoot” judges and said other things not too good about the Judiciary.
Nyirenda, who was recently confirmed as Chief Justice in Parliament, said he would take Tembenu’s commitments seriously and follow up on them. He said the Judiciary has trust that they are in safe hands.
Nyirenda is on record as having said the Judiciary needs about K8 billion annually to operate effectively but gets less than half its requirement.
Talking about Msosa, Nyirenda said she has left an admirable legacy that speaks volumes.
Said Nyirenda: “Suffice to say, Chief Justice Msosa applied herself with consummate skill and total selflessness. She allowed all of us in the Judiciary to get close to her and in the process she has made us what we are today.”
The Chief Justice said Msosa allowed only legally relevant facts and prescriptions of the law to be the cornerstones and parameters of her professional application.
Tembenu and Malawi Law Society president John Suzi-Banda also spoke about how admirable Msosa’s career has been.
Msosa, in her speech, said everyone who spoke said good things about her and at one point she wondered if the speakers were referring to her.
She said she was retiring a happy person.
Msosa started as a State legal advocate in 1975 before becoming Malawi’s first female chief legal aid advocate and later first female registrar general between 1990 and 1992.
Msosa also scored other firsts when she was appointed first female High Court judge, later appeal judge and Chief Justice in 2012.