CEDWAT condemns Ministry of Finance for ‘choking’ appeal cases at Supreme Court

Center for Democracy Watch (CEDWAT) has expressed disappointment with failure by the Ministry of Finance, through the Treasury, to fund the Judiciary to hear appeal cases submitted to the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal.

CEDWAT cites cases of jailed politician Uladi Mussa and other high profile personalities in the Central and Northern Regions.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, CEDWAT Executive Director Levy Luwemba alleges that the Ministry of Finance failed to fund the Supreme Court for three times.

“The Supreme Court of Appeal officially released a schedule of the appeal case of Dr. Uladi Mussa and others to hear their appeal case in Lilongwe on 25th August, 2022 but the hearing did not take place due to no funding by the Ministry of Finance. Another hearing date of the case, 8th December 2022, the supreme court of Appeal failed again to hear the case of Dr. Uladi Mussa due to no funding to the Supreme Court of Appeal by the Ministry of Finance,” reads part of the statement.

Luwemba further alleges that the Treasury deliberately failed to fund the Supreme Court of Appeal for the third time in order to hear the case of Dr. Uladi Mussa, David Kwanjanja and Peter Katasya on the 7th March, 2023.

He described the development as ‘totally uncalled for and non-democratic as well as major signs of bad governance and lack of rule of law on the part of the executive branch’.

Luwemba asked the Minister of Finance to fund the dedicated Supreme Court of Appeal within 14 days in order for the Uladi Mussa case and others to be heard and that justice and rule of law should prevail.

“Dr. Uladi Mussa, David Kwanjana and Peter Katasya have got natural rights for their appeal case to be heard in Lilongwe by the Supreme Court of Appeal, Malawi belongs to all of us and we all deserve equal rights. CEDWAT strongly views the failure of the Supreme Court of Appeal to hear the case of Dr. Uladi Mussa as political wishful hunting by the Government as there is no way the whole government Machinery can fail to provide funding for allowances and fuel to eleven justices to travel for allowances and fuel to eleven justices to travel from Blantyre to here, Lilongwe to hear this case. This is totally impossible and unheard of and CEDWAT never believes this. This must stop,” says the CEDWAT boss.

“We further appeal to the State President to seriously consider releasing prisoners on parole during the holy month of Ramadan as it is done during other Christian festive seasons,” he concludes.

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