Solicitor General Janet Banda has put her foot down on private practice lawyer Lusungu Gondwe’s protest and demand to be removed on the list of lawyers found guilty of alleged disciplinary issues.
Banda, who is also Principal Secretary for Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, said she would not take out Gondwe’s name because the published notice is a reflection of what transpired.
In an interview yesterday, Banda said: “I am yet to receive the letter [from Gondwe], but even if I had received it, we cannot withdraw his name.
“That notice was about what happened and that is what is also required under the rules of procedure of the disciplinary committee. We are supposed to publish all the cases that we have dealt with and how we have dealt with them.”
The Malawi Law Society (MLS) disciplinary committee two weeks ago published findings and recommendations regarding complaints made against eight lawyers, including Gondwe.
But Gondwe, through his lawyer Bright Theu, protested to MLS and demanded withdrawal of his name, arguing that the publication of his recommendation was unprocedural and in bad faith.
The protest letter dated May 29 2017 and signed by Theu said Gondwe was never summoned for any disciplinary hearing and no findings on his wrong doings were communicated to him from June 2015 up until the publication of his name.
The letter said Gondwe was only specifically invited for a conduct meeting on June 22 2015 to hold discussions with him about the conduct that resulted in the complaint against him which also came after the matter was resolved with the client.
MLS secretary Michael Goba Chipeta confirmed receiving Gondwe’s letter and forwarding it to the Solicitor General who also chairs the society’s disciplinary committee.
He said: “As secretary, I did receive the letter and it was also copied to the president of the society… As executive committee, we have got no power on the notice that was published so we forwarded it to the disciplinary committee headed by the Solicitor General.”
Apart from Gondwe, the committee said other lawyers allegedly found guilty included Edwin Banda, Kajani Banda, Patron Ndhlovu, Lucious Kwakwala, Golden Mwangulube, Felix Mipande and Mapemphero Manda. n