Anti-Corruption Bureau Director General Martha Chizuma has asked lawyers to carry out their duties with integrity as the country continues to fight corruption.
Speaking during the 20th congregation of Catholic University of Malawi (Cunima), where 59 graduates were awarded Bachelor of Laws (honours) degrees, Chizuma said she would love the country to have a breed of lawyers who are not money-hungry that they end up losing their integrity.
“The fact of the matter is that we are where we are, as a country, because there has been a lot of plundering for a long time. I believe we have had the wrong people making the decisions for this country. The people who are in high positions on trust are the ones plundering. The new graduates should bring a different flavour to the legal field. They need to decide to do things with integrity. Seeing a group of lawyers doing good because of the law and not about quick riches is what this country needs. I am hoping that Catholic University graduates will bring the new flavour and have more integrity,” she said.
In October this year, Cunima became the second institution offering legal studies in the country under the law, besides University of Malawi (formerly Chancellor College), after National Council for Higher Education accredited the programme at the school.
The development came eight years after the university had introduced the programme.
According to Chairperson of the university’s council, Bishop Martin Mtumbuka, Cunima introduced the programme after noting a shortage of lawyers in the country.
“We do not have enough legal practitioners in the country. This is why cases take too long to finish. Having a lot of professionals in the field will help Malawians have more access to legal representation to promote justice. The way things are at the moment, the underprivileged suffer because of the few lawyers we have, most lawyers are too expensive. The less privileged end up suffering because they cannot afford to pay lawyers,” he said.
A document issued by Malawi Law Society (MLS) of legal practitioners for the period of February 1, 2020 to 31 January 31, 2021 shows that at that time, there were only 588 MLS-licensed lawyers.