High Court throws out a judicial review case of one of its own, Justice Mtambo

Justice Mike Mtambo accuses Judicial Service Commission of deliberately sidelining him from being promoted as judge for Supreme Court of Appeal

Maravi Express

The High Court of Malawi has declined Justice Mike Mtambo application for judicial review being unfit for further consideration at a full hearing for judicial review in which he was challenging that the Judicial Service Commission removed his name from the list of candidates for promotion to the Supreme Court of Appeal.


Mtambo contended that he was not given “a hearing for taking such adverse action not consistent with previous promotion exercises where seniority was used, recognized and accepted by all”.

He also claimed that Judicial Service Commission’s decision to leave him out for promotion was on the grounds that Justice Mtambo would soon be retiring but he argued that the circumstances leading to his retirement have been caused by the Commission’s “own negligence and incompetence in omitting to fill vacancies in the Supreme Court of Appeal for over seven months after they arose in November, 2021”.

This, according to Mtambo, was “when the last four Justices of Appeal retired which conduct paralyzed the Supreme Court of Appeal for seven months and was unlawful as it undermined the independence of the judiciary”.

Mtambo also argued that President Lazarus Chakwera, who approves the judges’ promotions, induced or influenced the Judicial Service Commission to remove his name from the list “purportedly on account of irrelevant political considerations and purported regional and other balances in the Supreme Court of Appeal”.


Made in chambers in Blantyre July 15, Justice M.A. Tembo ruled that Mtambo’s application was “largely based on unsubstantiated claims of existing practices and facts”, saying “such an application does not enthuse any hope”.

“…This Court is compelled to decline the claimant’s application for permission to apply for judicial review for being unfit for further consideration at a full hearing for judicial review, as envisaged in the case of Ombudsman v Malawi Broadcasting Corporation [1999] MLR 329,” said the ruling after a long analysis of the application.