Govt Adamant: “Chief Justice Nyirenda Has to Go”

Mutharika: Suggests judiciary coup Mutharika: Suggests judiciary coup pic File Photo

Despite widespread condemnation against usurping powers of the judiciary, government is adamant insisting that the executive was justified since Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda has accumulated 572 leave days hence should proceed on leave pending his retirement.

In a statement issued Monday, Information minister Mark Bottoman says there was nothing strange about the decision from Chief Secretary Lloyd Muhara as there is precedence to it citing the case of former Chief Justices Lovemore Munlo and Anastanzia Msosa.

Bottoman said this citing Section 12 subsection (2b) of the Judiciary Conditions of Service which state that "a judicial officer may opt to carry forward accumulated leave days towards retirement," which is the case with the current head of the judiciary.

In the statement signed for by Information minister Mark Bottoman, government says Chief Justice Nyirenda will have reached retirement age of 65 in the 572 days.

“This speaks of his dedication to work, that he could forgo his leave days in order to serve Malawi. This is typical of almost all former occupants in the office of Chief Justice,” reads part of the statement.

The office of President and the Chief Secretary have two injunctions on their tables stopping the effect of the decision until the conclusion of a judicial review of the decision as critics argue about who has administrative authority over the Chief Executive.

In a statement earlier, Registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal, Agnes Patemba, said the executive has no business meddling in internal affairs of the judiciary.

Meanwhile, today lawyers, judicial officers and other stakeholders are today scheduled to hold nation-wide demonstrations in defense of judicial independence and rule of law in Malawi.

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