Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda retires, Mzikamanda appointed in acting capacity

Retired Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda
Registrar of the Supreme Court of Appeal Gladys Gondwe has confirmed the retirement of Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda.
According to Gondwe, the tenure of CJ Nyirenda expired on Sunday,  26th December, 2021 when he reached the age of 65.
Justice of Appeal Rezin Mzikamanda SC, who is the most senior judge, will succeed Nyirenda temporarily until President Lazarus Chakwera appoints the new CJ.
Nyirenda will be remembered as the Chief Justice whose tenure of office presided over the controversial presidential election case.

Last year, Nyirenda was about to be sent on forced leave pending his retirement by his appointee, Mutharika. The move came after courts made judgments against the former president and the then ruling party, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Several groups protested and the Human Rights Defenders Coalition, the Magistrate’s Association and the Malawi Law Commission challenged the move in court.

In his ruling last year, Judge Charles Mkandawire said Mutharika and former Chief Secretary to Governemnt Muhara interfered with roles of Judiciary since the issue of leave is handled by the Judiciary. He ordered Mutharika and Muhara to pay costs for the case. The two paid K69.5 million earlier this year.

But who is Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda?

The Honourable Chief Justice Andrew K.C. Nyirenda, SC was born on 26th December, 1956 at Bunga village, Traditional Authority Bongoyo, Nkhata Bay district in Malawi. He is married and blessed with three sons.

He holds a Bachelor of Laws from Chancellor College of the University of Malawi obtained in 1980 and a Master of Laws from Hull University, England obtained in 5 years later. The Chief Justice has at all times of his career been in the public service.

He joined the Ministry of Justice in 1980 as a State Advocate. In 1983 he was posted to the Legal Aid Department as a Legal Aid Advocate. In 1984, he was raised to Principal State Advocate. In 1991, he was further elevated to Chief State Advocate. In 1992 he was again promoted to the post of Chief Public Prosecutor, now Director of Public Prosecutions [DPP]. It was from that position that His Lordship was, on 4th June, 1994, appointed Judge of the High Court of Malawi.

On 3rd June, 2008 His Lordship was appointed Justice of Appeal. His Lordship was eventually elevated to Chief Justice of the Republic of Malawi on 12th March, 2015.

His Lordship is a scholar of note. He has written and published several scholarly and practical articles.

In his leadership, Malawi Judiciary has been recognised as one of the best Judiciary with high levels of integrity in Africa and world at large.


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