President Peter Mutharika has elevated to judges the registrar of the High Court of Malawi and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal Jack N’riva and his deputy Thomson Ligowe.
According to a statement dated July 24 2017 signed on behalf of Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara, the appointments are effective June 29 this year.
The appointment of the two come barely seven months after N’riva and Ligowe were appointed as registrar and deputy registrar, respectively, of the High Court of Malawi and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal.
Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula, in a brief telephone interview yesterday, said the appointment brings to 26 the number of High Court judges across the four registries of Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu and Zomba. He said there are nine judges of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, including the Chief Justice.
Prior to the recent appointments, N’riva served in several judicial positions, including principal resident magistrate in Lilongwe, chief resident magistrate in Blantyre and deputy chairperson of the Industrial Relations Court (IRC).
In October last year, Mutharika also appointed four High Court judges, namely Joseph Chigona, Dorothy de Gabrielle, Ruth Chinangwa and George Bakuwa in a move the Malawi Law Society (MLS) applauded.
However, Bakuwa died in Zambia barely weeks after taking the oath of office and was winding up business at the State produce trader Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc).
In recent years, there have been concerns among court users that justice delivery, especially in the High Court, has been slow. Both judiciary and observers attributed the delays to shortage of judges.
In 2013, former president Joyce Banda also appointed High Court judges Mike Tembo, Redson Kapindu, Zione Ntaba and Annabel Mtalimanja. n