Years after government attempted to change the country’s laws to remove extra-party injunctions, government has once against expressed displeasure at the rate court injunctions are being used to cripple is business.
Justice Minister and Constitutional Affairs Minister Samuel Tembenu on Friday told the Judiciary during the launch of its strategic plan for 2011 and 2017 in Lilongwe that the use of injunctions as a settlement of disputes is creating a culture of lawlessness.
Tembenu blames the justice sector for breeding public distrust through failure to conclude court cases in time.
“The main concern of government is that an injunction is supposed to be interim, short-term remedy, but because of court procedures it turns out to be a long-term; a permanent solution to a problem that should have been resolved in a short period,” said Tembenu.
He added that the whole justice system should seek ways to end delays in delayed court cases, and he confirmed the ministry had received a letter from Malawi Society (MLS) expressing dismay at the backlog of cases that are stuck in various courts in the country.
During the launch of the strategic plan, EU Head of Delegation Marchel Gerrmann challenged the judiciary to be more accountable and transparent to ensure public confidence. He also echoed Tembenu’s concerns about public frustrations over delayed cases.
Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda conceded in an interview that the Judiciary was struggling to complete cases in time leading to public frustrations and also acknowledged concerns over injunctions which have become permanent remedy.
He, however, said the strategic plan was important for a clear vision of the Judiciary to be mapped out after evaluations, realigned with the challenges Judiciary faces today and expressed hope that plan will enable it to function better.
The strategic plan was launched belatedly with almost just a year running on its implementation period, but the Judiciary expressed optimism the plan will still be a success. n