Chakwera describes Malawi home of Judicial excellency

Aug 8, 2022

Malawi President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has described Malawi as home to Judicial excellence.

Speaking when opening Africa Bar Association Conference (AFBA) in Lilongwe , Chakwera said there was no problem for the delegates to make Malawi their home considering that Malawi is already home to Judicial excellence.

“I imagine that making yourself at home here should be no problem, considering that Malawi is effectively the home of judicial excellence. Our most famous exhibit of judicial excellence, unparalleled anywhere in the world, happened only two years ago when the Constitutional and Supreme Courts of Malawi annulled an unconstitutional election and ordered a fresh one, and in the process also corrected a long-held misinterpretation of what the Malawian Constitution means by the word ‘majority’,” said Chakwera.

Chakwera reminded the delegates of the historic electoral constitutional case saying it was a landmark ruling.

“It is also worth noting that the fresh presidential election that followed that ruling was the most credible in Malawi’s democratic history, in large part because it was administered under the stewardship of an excellent member of our esteemed Judiciary, whose leadership single-handedly removed the stain that had been placed on our Judiciary by his predecessor, a feat for which he is owed the thanks of a grateful nation,” said the Malawi leader.

Chakwera said what was not so well known or celebrated are the many corrections to Malawi’s justice system we have undertaken over the past two years and resolve to keep going until the work is done.

Chakwera then cited three examples to the cheerful and attentive delegates.

He said the first policy of steadily raising the allocation of financial resources to the Judiciary in the national budget untill it reaches the desired goal of a minimum of 3%.

Chakwera said the policy of placing the most accomplished and capable of judicial officers on the top benches of justice system, which ensures that errors in judgement in the lower courts can ably be corrected before the higher courts.

“A third correction we have been pursuing is the legislative creation of special courts to expedite certain categories of cases of great national interest, and as I speak, the Courts Amendment Bill, which establishes the Financial Crimes Division of the High Court, has just been passed by Parliament and on its way to my desk for my enacting signature,” said Chakwera.

Chakwera described the conference crucial and beneficial to the country saying the way to guarantee good governance is to have good people elected or appointed to public office, and some define the goodness of these good people by their age, some by their gender, some by their region, some by their tribe, some by their academic qualifications, and some even by their social media popularity.

But the President said he disassociate himself from that thinking.

“As someone who has not only been elected and appointed to several public offices, but also one who has appointed many people to various public offices, I think my perspective on this matter has earned the right to be taken more seriously than the parochial opinions of those who merely pontificate from the safe ivory tower of their untested theories, hypotheses, and conjecture,” he said.

During the conference, Chakwera also stressed the need to address high level corruption scandals in the security organs.

“We are in the middle of addressing a corruption scandal within our security organs, and just two weeks ago, I launched a nationwide Anti-Corruption campaign to make it clear to everyone that corruption is our biggest enemy and is not welcome here. But there is also a part of me that strongly believes that such remedial measures have become necessary now because of our collective failure to put preventative measures in place in the past, and one such measure we must pursue is increasing the capacity of our Parliaments,” he said.

AFBA was established in 1971 as a professional body uniting individual lawyers and national legal associations in Africa.  The Association was designed to be a federation of national legal associations, corporate and unincorporated legal entities, and individual lawyers.

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