5 April 2018

Mozambique: Corrupt Magistrates Must Be Expelled

Maputo — Corrupt magistrates must be expelled from the Mozambican judicial system, declared the President of the Supreme Court, Adelino Muchanga, on Wednesday.

Speaking in the central city of Chimoio, at the opening of a two day meeting of the Judicial Council, Muchanga, cited in Thursday's issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”, stressed that “for cases of corruption involving magistrates and law officers, there is zero tolerance”.

The courts are the bodies that judge corruption cases, he said, and so it made no sense to keep in the court system people with connections to corruption. This would just stain the reputation of the courts.

“We cannot have the power to judge, when we ourselves are morally disreputable”, he told his fellow judges. “So we have been taking radical measures to purge from the ranks of the judiciary magistrates with negative practices”.

Muchanga revealed that three judges were expelled in 2017 and three more so far this year, but he did not name them. Several more are under investigation.

“Corruption among judges is absolutely intolerable”, he declared, “and that's why we have been taking a hard line. Increasingly citizens are demanding more of us, and these demands are greatest in moments of crisis”.

“We have to redouble our efforts to satisfy those who are continually seeking legal services”, Muchanga added, and that meant establishing trust, “so that justice remains the protector of people's rights and freedoms”.

But Muchanga warned against undue haste. “Justice must not act blindly under cover of urgency, since that would risk increasing judicial errors”, he said. “Each case must take the time necessary for a correct decision”.

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