Lawyers in the country have organized first ever peaceful demonstrations to be held in the four major cities across the country in protest for the executive arm of government’s interference and intimidation of judges in the country.
The demonstrations are slated for Wednesday, June 17 in Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Zomba and Blantyre.
One of the issues which sparked the lawyers’ anger was a notice issued by the government’s Chief Secretary on June 12, purporting that Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda had been placed on leave with immediate effect, a development which raised suspicion.
One of the organizers, lawyer John Gift Makhwawa, said the protest is in defense of the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.
Makhwawa said: “We want to show a stand in support of judicial independence, separation of powers as well as to fostering and maintain public confidence.”
He furthers swore that as lawyers they will show the executive that they will at all cost defend the integrity of the institution of judiciary.
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) chairperson, Gift Trapence, said their grouping has endorsed the lawyer’s demonstrations.
Other associations that expressed disappointment with the government’s decision include; Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA), Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA), Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA), Rechters voor Rechters (Judges for Judges) and the Southern African Chief Justices` Forum (SACJF).
Government is also placing Chief Justice Edward Twea on forced leave.