Former Malawi Law Society (MLS) president John-Gift Mwakhwawa has said during his final term, his office received 50 complaints against lawyers.
Mwakhwawa said this during the society’s annual general meeting (AGM) last weekend in the lakeshore district of Mangochi which saw a new executive led by Mandala Mambulasa voted in.
He said in his report: “There are cases of serious misconduct, incompetence and pure criminality. But in most cases I received, I found that there was lack of explanation from the lawyers to their clients.”
Mwakhwawa said he invited the concerned clients after they lodged complaints and explained to them processes that are followed.
He said most clients lodged the complaints to MLS because there was lack of commitment from lawyers to explain the processes and lack of understanding.
The outgoing president said he also personally contacted and discussed with lawyers involved, adding most matters were resolved without referring them to the disciplinary committee.
He said the disciplinary process was weak and would only be strong when a new Act for lawyers is passed in Parliament.
Mwakhwawa commended media houses and the civil society for partnering with MLS during the difficult times, especially the transition period after the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika last April, when there was noticeable resistance by some politicians to allow power change.
Mwakhwawa, who did not contest the presidency after three one-year terms, appealed to his colleagues to concentrate on issues that would unite them.
Meanwhile, the lawyers’ body is preparing for a Sadc lawyers conference to take place in August in Lilongwe.