The Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, which has been unable to hear cases since December 2022 due to lack of funding, has confirmed receiving finances to resume its operations.
The suspension of cases had raised concerns about a backlog of cases and potential compromise of justice delivery in the country.
Kondwani Banda, the High Court of Malawi and Supreme Court registrar, stated in a recent interview, “All cases that were scheduled have been affected. It is not a problem of the Judiciary, but Treasury failing to fund us.”
However, Taurai Banda, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, clarified that the request for additional resources for Supreme Court activities was authorized and processed.
According to the draft estimates for the program-based budget document number five, out of the K24 billion allocated to the Judiciary, K9.5 billion is for adjudication and case management.
The Supreme Court has the lowest allocation of K105 million while the High Court and magistrate’s courts each have about K4.5 billion allocated for their operations. In the 2020/21 financial year, the Supreme Court registered 100 cases while the High Court had 3 032 and the magistrate’s court had 5 116.
President Lazarus Chakwera has previously promised to fund the Judiciary adequately to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.
Chief Justice Rezine Mzikamanda has also expressed his desire to see the courts deal with the backlog of cases. The resumption of the Supreme Court’s operations is an encouraging development towards achieving these goals.