‘Be sensitive to people’s suffering’
Lawyers in the country have been urged to be sensitive to the suffering of people as a way of contributing towards the country’s socio-economic development goals.
Malawi Law Society (MLS) president, John Suzi Banda, made the call on Friday during the opening of the 2016 MLS Annual Conference held in Mangochi.
The conference was also attended by Vice- President Saulos Chilima.
“Allow me to conclude by stating that, as a profession, we must be committed to positively contributing to the socio-economic development of this great nation. We also have a statutory duty to do so, a duty we must jealously guard. We cannot afford, as citizens – which we are before we call ourselves lawyers— to be indifferent to the hardships our fellow Malawians are facing,” said Banda.
Banda also backed the on-going public sector reforms being spearheaded by Chilima. This is in contradiction to the position taken by some members of the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament, who claim that the reforms lack the force of the law since the august House did not give the initiative a seal of approval.
But Banda said the country needs a “nimble public service” dedicated to offering satisfactory services.
“To that end, the Society pledges its full support to the public sector reform process which you (Chilima) ably head. As the preamble of our veritable constitution reminds us, we created a constitutional order based on an open, democratic and accountable government, and this is for the purpose of guaranteeing the welfare and development of all the people of Malawi. So we need to walk the talk,” said Banda.
However, Banda said that Malawians and their leaders should leave talk aside and concentrate on action.
Every year, lawyers take advantage of the conference to reflect on a particular area of the law with a view of exploring their understanding of that area of law; examining the difficulties faced in working with such law to secure justice, equity and development, and come up with proposals on how best the law can be improved.
In his remarks, Chilima asked lawyers to support the on-going public sector reforms, observing that the country needs a public service which works towards serving people better, as opposed to the situation where people are subjected to questionable service.
The conference was attended by, among other people, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Samuel Tembenu, Justice Andrew Chikopa and Attorney General, Kalekeni Kaphale.
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