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House confirms Rizine Mzikamanda as Chief Justice

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SUPPORTED MOVE—Patel

Parliament Monday unanimously confirmed the appointment of Rizine Mzikamanda as the Chief Justice (CJ) of Malawi.

President Lazarus Chakwera appointed Mzikamanda as CJ on January 7 this year following the retirement of Andrew Nyirenda.

Before his appointment, lawmakers had disagreed on the passing mark, with others indicating that the candidate needed two-thirds approval from the whole 193 members of the august House while others argued that the candidate needed two-thirds approval from lawmakers available in the House during voting time.

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After a lengthy discussion, the Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani Hara ruled that the candidate could be elected by two-thirds of MPs present in the House.

Mulanje Bale legislator Victor Musowa then proposed that a voice vote be used in confirming Mzikamanda as opposed to a secret ballot, a thing the government side agreed to.

And when Gotani Hara put a question for the confirmation of Mzikamanda, all MPs confirmed him in unison.

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After the Speaker made her ruling on the matter, it took less than 15 minutes for the lawmakers to confirm Mzikamanda as CJ.

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party spokesperson Yusuf Nthenda and United Democratic Front spokesperson Lilian Patel both showered words of praise on Mzikamanda who, they said, was well educated and had the required experience.

“The Judiciary is supposed to be led by a man who is upright. We need a person who can take the judges head-on because we know there are some judges who are big-headed.

“All he needs to do is to be transparent and ensure that all the courts are disciplined when there are issues of indiscipline,” Nthenda said.

He expressed hope that Mzikamanda would help expedite the discharge of cases that have been the courts for more than 11 years.

On her part, Patel said Mzikamanda had a very clean record.

Among other public positions, Mzikamanda served as Anti- Corruption Bureau director.

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