Malawi: Forced Retirement of Malawi's Chief Justice Withdrawn By New Government

Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda (file photo).

Government has withdrawn a public notice issued on June 12, 2020 by which stated that Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda had been placed on leave pending retirement.

The administration of Peter Mutharika through former Chief Secretary to the Government, Lloyd Muhara, wanted to remove the Chief Justice on the pretext that Nyirenda had accumulated more leave days than the remainder of his working days until his

But in statement issued Tuesday and signed by new Chief Secretary to the Government Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi says the issue of accumulated leave days of the Chief Justice is between the Judicial Service Commission and the Chief Justice himself.

It stresses that Nyirenda continues to discharge his duties as the Chief Justice of the country.

Apparently, Muhara has been redeployed back to Judiciary as High Court judge and will face same Chief Justice he wanted to be removed.

Nyirenda was among the judges who in February annulled last year's elections, which saw a narrow win for immediate former president Peter Mutharika. The ruling was upheld by the appeal court and Fresh elections were held on 23 June which was won by Lazarus Chakwera as the new President.

The second most senior justice in the country, Edward Twea, was also given notice to leave his post ahead of his retirement next year.

Mutharika was widely condemned for an 'unprecedented assault on judicial independence' by campaigners who states that no judge can be forced to take leave and they are are guaranteed tenure until they turn 65.

Agnes Patemba, registrar of the supreme and high courts in Malawi, said in a statement that although a chief justice is appointed by the president and confirmed by the national assembly, all matters related to discipline and welfare fell within the "exclusive province" of the judiciary.

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