Malawi

Activist for women’s rights called ‘violent’ because she used local word for vagina on protest placard

A women’s rights activist in Malawi, Beatrice Matweyo, found by the high court to have been wrongly arrested during an anti-gender-based violence protest, has now been slammed for having carried a placard with a slogan including the local word for vagina. Lilongwe’s high court assistant registrar said the use of this word amounted to violence against women, and thus awarded her merely a nominal amount for her claim for punitive damages.

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A new decision by the high court of Malawi should provoke outrage. Brian Sambo, assistant registrar of the high court in Lilongwe, has been assessing the damages that must be paid to prominent women’s rights activist, Beatrice Mateyo. She was arrested during a protest against gender-based violence (GBV) because police thought her placard ‘insulted the modesty of women’ as it included the local word for a vagina.

Malawi court finds against judge’s claim for appeal court seat

A judge in Malawi has found himself in the unusual position of having to consider a colleague’s complaint, made before him in litigation, that the other judge had been unfairly passed over for appointment to a higher court.

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This must be one of the most unusual cases yet heard by Malawi’s high court: Judge Michael Tembo had to consider an application brought by fellow judge, Michael Mtambo, against the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Malawi’s president.

‘Cry-baby’ politician should not have brought party political case to court – judge

When Malawian politician Shadrick Namalomba asked for judicial intervention on the question of where he should sit in the national assembly, Judge Mzonde Mvula set him straight. Such issues were not appropriate for the courts to consider, he said. It was clearly an issue related to conflict within the official opposition, and for a variety of reasons, it should never have been brought to court.

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During March, Shadrick Namalomba, a member of Malawi’s opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), asked the court to intervene in a dispute he had with his party. In particular, he wanted the leader of the DPP to be stopped from allocating him to seat 99 and later, to seat 100, for parliamentary debate.

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