Malawi Chief Justice faces calls to resign

Malawi’s law society meet this week to among other things call for the  resignation of the country’s Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo following revelations by President Joyce Banda that he was part of the alleged coup plotters.

Banda, the first woman head of state in southern Africa, made the  accusations in an interview with the Guardian– one of Britain’s leading newspapers.

 Banda disclosed she learnt in her official capacity about the attempted coup on the presidency by some members of the Judiciary and the Cabinet following her predecessor’s death.

The President said a Cabinet minister—who was part of the judicial and Cabinet ministers’ meeting to machinate the swearing-in of Peter Mutharika after the death of his brother—came to officially brief her at her residence in Lilongwe. 

 “He [the minister] was telling me in an official capacity at the presidential residence. So, I told the [UK] newspaper as it was relayed to me,” in an exclusive interview with the Nation yesterday.

The Malawi Law Society (MLS) secretary Bright Theu said that the lawyers  have scheduled as a subject for discussion at a MLS executive meeting later this week. But he refused to disclose the agenda of the meeting.

But other leading lawyers who asked for anonymity want the Chief Justice to resign his position 

“Our position when we meet will definitely be that the CJ resigns…he cannot continue being the head of the judiciary when he conspired with others to ignore what the Constitution says on succession in the event of the President’s death,” a leading lawyer said.

The President also confirmed that when all this was happening, she telephoned Army Commander General Henry Odillo, asking if she could rely on his support. She said Odillo obliged and stationed troops around her house.