In June 2015, the Judiciary was forced to start deploying visiting judges to the High Court of Malawi Mzuzu District Registry after justice went to sleep following an increased backlog of cases.
That time, the Malawi Law Society (MLS) Mzuzu Chapter had petitioned Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda to consider assigning additional judges in Mzuzu to work alongside the then sole judge Dingiswayo Madise.
The situation improved. The case backlog was reduced. The wheels of justice rolled at a faster pace.
However, case management is back to square one at the registry as there is again a single judge in charge: Dorothy de Gabrielle.
Madise is on transfer to Judiciary’s main base in Blantyre, his brother judge in Mzuzu, John Chirwa, was also earlier transferred to Blantyre and Nyakwawa Usiwausiwa, who has been assigned to Mzuzu, is yet to move to his new work station.
The result has been a justice crisis that has prompted the Judiciary to resume deployment of visiting judges to help speed up the wheels of justice in the Northern Region registry that covers six districts and some cases from the Central and Southern regions.
In an interview on Tuesday, Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula said the Chief Justice is considering deploying a judge to Mzuzu to ensure speedy justice delivery.
He said in the interim, the Judiciary is looking at arranging visiting judges. n