Justice Kalaile to be remembered for humility


Judicial officers and staff led by the Chief Justice, Andrew Nyirenda and Retired Chief Justice Richard Banda joined family, friends and other mourners to lay to rest retired Judge, James Kalaile Senior Counsel (SC). 

The late Kalaile was interred at HHI Cemetery in Blantyre during a state funeral which was attended by thousands of Malawians. He died on Thursday.  

Kalaile, who retired from the Judiciary in 2008, was eulogised as being humble and full of integrity.

Speaking on behalf of Chief Justice Nyirenda was Judge Anaclet Chipeta who described the late Kalaile as a father figure and teacher. 

“Today is a very sad day in the Judiciary as we are burying a father figure; a teacher who was very trusted and committed to his work. 

Justice Nyirenda
Justice Nyirenda pays his last respects. Photos by Arkangel Tembo

“He served in different portfolios and the chief justice is a sad man to lose a person who was very important in society,” said Chipeta in his eulogy.

Chipeta said after retiring from the Judiciary, Kalaile picked up a job in the academia at the Catholic University of Malawi where he was Director of Legal Affairs from March 2013.

He also said while in the Judiciary, Kalaile served in many portfolios, including that of Justice of Appeal at the Supreme Court, served as a Commonwealth Judge between 2008 and 2010 and at Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Court between February 1997 and July 2003.

21 gun salute

Kalaile also served as chairperson for the Malawi Electoral Commission between 1999 and 2004, at some point, the late Kalaile also served as acting Chief Justice.

“Although he retired, Kalaile kept reminding us the importance of maintaining integrity among lawyers in the country,” he said.

After eulogies from different people that included Senior Chief Lukwa of Kasungu, the funeral procession was led by the Malawi Defence Force from his Nyambadwe residence to St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral along the Chilomoni Township Road where hundreds of people braved the sweltering heat to pay their last respects. 

After the church service, which was led by Bishop Brighton Vita Malasa of the Anglican Diocese of Upper Shire, scores of people lined the streets of Blantyre along the road to his final resting place at HHI Cemetery.

The late Kalaile's wife
The late Justice Kalaile's wife pays her last respects

People watched a convoy led by the MDF green Land Rover of which one carried the brown casket with the remains of late Kalaile. 

As the convoy made its way out of the city, people could be seen with their cell phones taking pictures.  

Kalaile’s coffin arrived at the cemetery with a full MDF guard of honour and the country’s flag draped over it.

As the coffin descended at the cemetery, an MDF bugle performed a rendition of The Last Post.

Kalaile’s wife wept and appeared to be speaking to the lovely husband as she waved at the coffin before it was entered into the grave. 


Arkangel Tembo, Mana