THE Malawi Law Society (MLS) is sustaining the heat on Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo, saying it still expects the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to respond or take action on its request to facilitate Munlo’s resignation in connection with the infamous ‘coup’ plot.
Last month, the society penned the JSC, whose Chairperson is the Chief Justice, asking it to allow the Chief Justice to temporarily step down.
This was to pave way for investigations on claims he participated in a plot to swear in Peter Mutharika as President following the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika.
Munlo reacted to MLS request in a press statement through his lawyers Patrice Nkhono and Samuel Tembenu.
He denied he was ever involved in trying to subvert the Constitution and have Peter Mutharika take over as president instead of Joyce Banda.
MLS Honourary Secretary Bright Theu said Tuesday the society is satisfied with President Banda’s institution of a Commission of Inquiry into the matter.
But he indicated that does not affect the society’s request for Munlo to step down.
“We have not had any response from the Judicial Service Commission on the matter. As far as we are concerned, the response [Munlo’s statement] was from an individual through his lawyers.
“It was communication [MLS’] from an institution to an institution and what we expect is official communication or action from them.
“So far the President has done her part by coming up with a Commission of Inquiry, but we are still waiting from the Judicial Service Commission. More over the lawyers who responded are not lawyers of the Judicial Service Commission,” Said Theu.
He said the society does not want to engross itself in seeming wrangles with the Chief Justice. They are only acting on behalf of the public as a body that is mandated to intervene in national matters to do with the law, he said.
“Our intervention was for the public because we noticed there were serious allegations all over the media, even from the President, so we wanted the matter to come out clear,” Theu Said.
In his response in the statement, Munlo called on those making the allegation to substantiate their claims or drop the matter altogether.
“What is now required is for the executive arm of government to formally lodge and substantiate the charges before the Judicial Service Commission. If there is no intention of doing so promptly, a statement should be made to the public that this matter is closed.
“Whenever a charge of professional impropriety is made against a judicial officer, the powers of the Judicial Service Commission must be invoked as set out in the constitution,” said Munlo in the statement.
President Banda has set up an inquiry to establish circumstances around the death of Mutharika and events leading to her ascendance to the presidency.