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Lawyers oppose Lloyd Muhara’s return

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Lloyd Muhara

Former Chief Secretary to Government Lloyd Muhara has come under fire from some concerned lawyers who are calling for his removal as a High Court Judge.

A letter signed by Lawyer Bright Theu to Malawi Law Society says Muhara’s service at the heart of the Executive and allegations of corruption and abuse of office compromise his integrity as a judge.

The letter says the lawyers want the Malawi Law Society to move the Judicial Service Commission to institute disciplinary proceedings against Muhara for his alleged misbehaviour and conduct saying it makes him not fit to be a Judge of the High Court of Malawi.

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It adds that Muhara’s position has become untenable at the Judiciary since he served

as Secretary to President and Cabinet or Chief Secretary to government as he was known at the time.

“After holding and performing the office of Secretary to the Cabinet, Justice Lloyd Muhara’s resumption of duty as a judicial officer is a serious affront to separation of powers, compromises the independence of the Judiciary, and puts the integrity of the administration of justice by him into serious question and opprobrium. His position has become untenable,” the letter reads.

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The lawyers further allege that Muhara’s conduct in the line of duty as Secretary to President and Cabinet demonstrated no regard for the law and independence of the Judiciary, citing the attempted removal of Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda from office.

“Towards the end of his tenure as Secretary to the Cabinet, Justice Muhara was involved in attempts to get rid of the Honourable the Chief Justice A.K. Nyirenda SC and Honourable Twea SC, JA, by imposing supposed annual leave. On 5 June 2020 he wrote the Chief Justice and Twea SC JA informing them to proceed on leave pending their retirement.

“When in response the Chief Justice sought clarification as to whether this was in the nature of a directive, Justice Muhara did not respond, but instead he promulgated a public notice on 12 June 2020 informing the general public that the Honourable Chief Justice Nyirenda SC was proceeding on leave pending retirement due to accumulated leave days. The public notice and letters referred to above were widely condemned as an unprecedented assault on the Judiciary,” reads the letter.

The lawyers also argue that Muhara has been implicated in a K57 billion Escom generators deal, dubious land transactions and usurping functions of the Director General of Immigration and Citizenship Services.

Theu declined to comment on the letter, saying it is confidential.

“The letter you are talking about is written confidential and if you are seeing it, it is because someone breached the confidence. I should not be part of those breaching the confidence but you will be briefed at an appropriate time,” he said.

MLS President Burton Mhango has confirmed receiving the letter saying they will look at the concerns raised while Muhara could not be reached on his mobile phones for a comment.

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