MAPUTO, — The President of the Supreme Court of Mozambique, Adelino Muchanga, has declared that corrupt magistrates must be expelled from the judicial system.

Speaking in the central city of Chimoio, nearly 1,150 kilometres north of here, at the opening of a two-day meeting of the Judicial Council on Wednesday, Muchanga stressed that for cases of corruption involving magistrates and law officers, there is zero tolerance.

The courts are the bodies that judge corruption cases, he said, and so it made no sense to keep in the court system people with connections to corruption. This would just stain the reputation of the courts.

We cannot have the power to judge, when we ourselves are morally disreputable,” he told fellow judges. So we have been taking radical measures to purge from the ranks of the judiciary magistrates with negative practices.”

Muchanga revealed that three judges were expelled in 2017 and three more so far this year, but he did not name them. Several more are under investigation, he added.

Corruption among judges is absolutely intolerable and that’s why we have been taking a hard line. Increasingly, citizens are demanding more of us, and these demands are greatest in moments of crisis,” he added. We have to redouble our efforts to satisfy those who are continually seeking legal services.”

Muchanga said this meant establishing trust so that justice remains the protector of people’s rights and freedoms.

However, he also warned against undue haste. Justice must not act blindly under cover of urgency, since that would risk increasing judicial errors. Each case must take the time necessary for a correct decision.”