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Government, Malawi Law Commission slam corruption in judiciary

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By Jameson Chauluka:

Government and Malawi Law Commission (MLS) have bemoaned corruption in the judiciary.

Minister of Justice Samuel Tembenu and MLS Vice-President Tadala Chimkwenzule were speaking during Malawi Judiciary Sherry Party at Chichiri Court House Grounds Friday.

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“Sometimes you see the court orders and wonder, is this a court order or a lawyer’s order? We want the court to be applying the laws of the country because all the people who come to the courts want finality. We see people being acquitted on technicalities but what does the law say?” he said.

Chimkwenzule concurred with Tembenu saying corruption in the judiciary is both real and perceived, adding some of the decisions made in courts nowadays raise suspicions.

“You look at the decisions by the courts and wonder if they are merit-based. Now that erodes the integrity of the courts,” she said.

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Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda admitted that corruption has not spared the judiciary but said they are doing all they can to deal with the vice.

“We should start with conceding that there is corruption but we have the Judiciary and Fraud Prevention Policy to deal with the corruption. We will work with the lawyers themselves and the media to fight corruption in the judiciary,” he said.

Nyirenda said the judiciary will not be lenient on legal professionals caught in corruption saying, like anyone else, they will be prosecuted.

The Sherry Party brings together lawyers, magistrates, judges and all court users to celebrate developments in the judiciary.

During the party, four former justices of appeal – Richard Banda, Lawrence Chatsika, Friday Makuta and Leonard Unyolo – were honoured by naming court sessions which were previously named after British law icons.

Former president Joyce Banda was in attendance to support her husband during the auspicious event.

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