June 1, 2023 – In a recent development, the Malawi Law Society (MLS) has taken the decision to suspend Wester Kosamu, a member of Messrs Tannalegal & Associates, for a period of six months starting from June 1, 2023. The suspension comes as a result of Kosamu’s failure to repay a debt of K48 million owed to a client.
In a letter dated May 25, 2023, the disciplinary committee of the MLS outlined three key grounds for the suspension. One of the reasons cited was Kosamu’s personal misconduct, which the committee deemed to be damaging to the reputation and integrity of the legal profession. This behavior was found to be in violation of chapter 3 rule 1 of the MLS Code of Ethics.
Additionally, the MLS highlighted that Kosamu had failed to clarify his role and capacity to those he dealt with, particularly when there was any ambiguity. According to Chapter 16 rule 1 of the MLS Code of Ethics, lawyers are expected to make their roles as clear as possible in situations where doubt exists. Kosamu’s failure to adhere to this standard was another contributing factor to his suspension.
When approached for a comment regarding his suspension, Wester Kosamu, who also holds the position of board chairperson for the Greenbelt Authority, declined to provide a statement. He stated, “I cannot comment, and I hope you have the full context of the matter. It is well with me.”
The MLS’s decision to suspend Kosamu sends a clear message regarding its commitment to upholding professional ethics and accountability within the legal community. The society’s role in maintaining the integrity of the legal profession is of paramount importance, and instances of misconduct, such as failure to repay client debts, are taken seriously.
This suspension serves as a reminder to all legal practitioners that ethical behavior and adherence to professional standards are fundamental requirements for practicing law in Malawi. It underscores the MLS’s dedication to safeguarding the interests of clients and maintaining the trust and confidence of the public in the legal profession.
As the six-month suspension of Wester Kosamu takes effect, it remains to be seen how this development will impact his future professional engagements and his position as the board chairperson for the Greenbelt Authority.