ACB shut down ‘illegal’, says dean of law at University of Malawi

Malawi government has been faulted for its decision to seal Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) offices nationwide following its staff industrial action, as it has no legal basis.

Dr Mwiza Nkhata: The sealing of ACB has no leagl basis

Dr Mwiza Nkhata: The sealing of ACB has no leagl basis

Dean of law at Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, Mwiza Nkhata said the  sealing to ACB offices by Police lacked legal basis.

“I am failing to find legal basis for the action. Even if they question the legality of the strike, they cannot seal offices because it is a labour issue,” said Nkhata as quoted by The Nation newspaper of December 17, 2014.

Nkhata also dismissed claims that the idea is to protect property, wondering whether government has information that files or other property are being destroyed during the strike.

He warned government that the strike is a labour issue and its action will solve nothing.

The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and the Centre for Development of People (Cedep) have issued the statement saying the sealing of ACB offices by Mutharika’s regime as another disaster, calling it the ‘worst expected of his administration’.

The statement was signed by CHRR executive director Timothy Mtambo and Cedep’s Gift Trapence noted that there are fears that the sealing exercise shall be extended to the Judiciary and any potential grouping who may resort to strikes as a way of bringing their grievances to the attention of the regime .

But Deputy Inspector General of Police Lexten Kachama said the action is aimed at protecting the structure, property and those that are willing to work during the strike.

“Whenever there is a strike, the police provide security because of the unpredictability of the strike action. You can’t be sure about what one [staff member] will be doing during strike and it is necessary to take precautionary measures,” said Kachama.

ACB deputy director-general Reynack Matemba said government informed management of the decision to deal the offices but that he could not say that they were consulted.

Chief Secretary to the Government George Mkondiwa justified the decision to seal off the offices, saying the move was aimed at protecting files and other government property amid the chaos raised by the strike.

ACB staff want 70 percent salary increase and have so far rejected an offer of 10 percent.

The Bureau chief Lucas Kondowe recently lamented that his office has been underfunded for investigations into the Cashgate scandal that brought down former president Joyce Banda.

Meanwhile, from courtroom staff on strike for the past  six  weeks to primary school teachers boycotting classes to obtain salaries not paid for the past six months, labour militancy appears to be on the rise. Supporting staff of the University of Malawi have also launched a sit in to demand a 45 percent salary hike.

Doctors and nurses in public hospitals are also demanding pay rise and threatening to withdraw labour.

On the strikes, CHRR and Cedep expressed sadness that the President is yet to step up to address the aggrieved parties on the feud.

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68 thoughts on “ACB shut down ‘illegal’, says dean of law at University of Malawi”

  1. Phodogoma says:

    Please let the governemnt dismiss all the ACB employees. They signed the contract with attachment of numerations including wages for their term of contract say two or three years. Have their contract expired? I mean that wage was for a period of what they agreed. They can argue after the expiry of their contractual term not now. They can’t force you the employer to increase wages against what they agreed for a certain period of time. This is where Dr. Mwiza shows where he comes from and how he thinks in a twisting way. Useless doctor. A bunch of doctorate holder. This is illegal contract. Please finish accordingly and pay their benefits and replace them with new blood. Remove everybody from top to bottom. If there is an organization with employees from one region then ACB has no exception at all. Look at their records. all of them are from one region. APM open your eyes and see far far beyond somebody using binocular. These people from this region are very dangerous. They are testing you. Ask late Hasting and late Bingu. They are selfish so selfish indeed.

  2. puludzu says:

    I think atumbuka ndi asatana. Sekerere nkudyere mwana. Unfortunately most malawians do not know the dangerous agenda which atumbuka (northerners) have. Kamuzu saw their plot long time ago. Bingu did see too. Open your eyes and see beyond their plastic smiles…yes beyond their religious robes. Join them at your perile.

  3. Kaziulika Chimugonda says:

    ACB offices have been unsealed and discussions are in progress now. Advisors to the President are failing their duty. If ths is not corrected, Govt will loose alot of money in compesation for unprocedural dismissal.

  4. BalakaGuy says:

    Mwachita bwino kutseka,mmesa mmaofesimo mulibe anthu?tSONO MMATI MUKHALE MULI pululu mosatseka?inu ndinu zitsiru eti.

  5. chindere says:

    kaya ndi umbuli wosankha ku malawi.
    Tinya,chi president chili chete.Do you think people will listen and understand that Government does not have money? I say so because the first people to know that govt does not have should have been the MP s ,Ministers,Presidend and his vise etc,but these people sat down and raised their salaries ,where did think these increments would come from,and you expect a mere civil servant to feel sorry for the Govt?
    Tikhauladi zenizeni,iwo akuba ndalama mpaka za AIDS

  6. chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa says:

    You lawyers I have lost trust in you because I have seen no justice in many. I have seen the after math of strikes being very disastrous. This closure is for security reason and that office holds very sensitive issues. This human right myth has ever distorted the natural justice that GOD gave us. I don’t understand you people. Imagine you are in dire need of help from a certain office and you find it closed merely because of strike. how would you feel? You forget you are also a government. The government has realised its mistake and withdrew the current raised salaries, hence, you should also withdraw. You are misusing my tax money for staying idle. If you are a fool continue striking.

  7. Timwalira. The guy can close every government institution.

  8. Sanniphiri says:

    we are malawians and we leave in malawi we know what our country it is, these are just matters which can distort country’s economy and stability. Imagine why malawians like the government of less thinking and incapable presidents and dislike those who are more wise like kamuzu, APM and Bingu? Why do we go with presures of influentials? Malawi wll never be an independent state just becoz of selfishness and greed

  9. Kenkkk says:

    No surprise here, 64% did’nt like or vote for Peter, so they have banded together to disturb the already incompetent president and his govt.

    The president and parliament have given themselves very obscene salary increases and you expect other govt employees to be silent on their wages? The govt and parliament should have led by example. If you want to resolve this matter, the president, vice, cabinet and all mps should reject their salary increases immediately!! Back to the old salary!! Revoke your salty increases, then other people may accept modest increases.

    I agree with the sealing of offices such as ACB as long as no one from dpp goes in there and disturbs evidence or even touches it. Are you going to seal hospitals, judiciary offices, universities, schools, etc?

  10. machendy says:

    anzanu stiraka amapanga atalandila salary. mudya chani december agwape inu? mwayamba kundinyansa nawo ma strike anuwo.

    anzanu tili ndi 1 mita bonus yowotcha pa xmas. munya muwona. komanso bakha waku chanco akutokotayo asandipititse kumwezi. ndani sadziwa kuti law yaku chanco ndi ya fake? nyooo!

  11. padoko says:

    Whether it is a labour issue or not, I support the ceiling of offices kuti ena asatengerepo mwayi woononga ma file a milandu! Mwanya nayo!!!

  12. Masoambeta says:

    This is one thing which makes Malawi suck my arse.
    Too much noise from the so called “educated people”. If this so called dean of law has balls and grounds of argument, why not just go to court and start deliberations on his case. We have seen an increase in these expert opinion. Walk your talk.
    Instead of idiots getting into a political gaffe on this forum, why don’t we see those who know what the problem is, get into action.
    If at all its a benefit to the country. Matama thoooo.

  13. Kikikiki akabudula mukufuna kutiuza chani apa?

  14. Between the courts and ACB who started the strike?.muli ndi cholinga.

  15. Mtavu says:


  16. Mtavu says:


  17. Mbolo Sidwala! says:

    Issah Kabudula, chindele chakufikapo. What do u stand by siding wth a cruel person like petulo and hs government? Ndi izo akapanga cashNAC ku NAC. Cant have a grain of shame!

  18. cnkhuto says:

    Plus my president, all those on strike are useless. Just fire all of them. Why wasting time with people who don’t want to be patient? Fire them they are non productive. This country need a dictator like Mugabe.

  19. Mwenecho Mlowoka says:

    Not surprising at all, at all. What this dude is doing is nothing else other than defending that which is homemade. Basically, he says it is unconstitutional to barricade the ACB entrance for he wants his brothers and sisters who are involved in the theft of government money to get away with it due to lack of evidence and personnel to take up the cases in courts/ACB offices. It is a very well known fact that all he is doing is to side with his friend Raphael Kasambala who apparently is a fellow Tonga and the other criminal lawyer Wapona Kita who is a fellow northerner. What you guys must know is that what has been established by God the Almighty no mortal person can dismantle. You tried to drum up support for PP but nothing worked because He does not stand for unholy practices. No matter how much you manufacture dissent in the public work force and the rest of the citizens, another person not of your liking will come again and lead Malawi. Anthu a bwino bwino sakhala ndi locked hair like musicians. Verily verily it is said that every face tells a story. Ngati mukufuna kulamula osamadikira kukwera pamsana pa Joyce Banda, munakanika ndi chipani chanu cha AFORD chifukwa chodzikonda, akhakhakha inu.

    1. vindere says:

      Iwenso nde Mbuzi yakufikapo.Anthu akumpoto satsatila chipani mwaumbulitu.Chikalakwisa amachisiya ngakhale woyambisa chipaniyo ndi wakumpoto. Koma inu zianthu za ku south ndi pa centre mumatsatila zipani mwaumbuli olo zikulakwisa inu mumangowombela mmanja.Ndipo anakupezerelani bwanji. Ndipo ndinu zianthu zokufa ndithu zopanda nzeru.Ndinu anthu amtundu bwa? Mukuvutika kuposa ife but you are still clapping hands. Sindinawonepo zianthu zatulo ndi zokufa ngati anthu inu.

  20. Chikopa says:

    It looks like people from the northen region you are enjoying the strike you are encourage people to go for strikes if govm increase and wage bill went up and imf says we are off truck what have benefited why destroying you are in ? Koma munthu wakuda ndinyanidi eti ? Kukhapa nthambi yomwe iye wakweranso kupitiriza zomwe munayamba ndi jb 2010

  21. aphiri says:

    President created this problem by hving people of one side. Its not a simple issue as u may think it is

  22. Ambuje ku lilongwe says:

    Zowonadi mastrike onsewa pali ena akukolezera moto kuti tiyeni musamupase mpata peter.
    Izi ndozosafunsa kuwuzidwa ai. Amalawi pano tafikapa tikugwiritsidwa job ndianthu omwe akufuna kulamula boma kusogoloku. Colinga ndicakuti boma limalephera mastrike anali mbwee.
    Atumbuka ndianthu oyipa kwambiri. Ofesi iliyonse atumbuka ndiwo akukhala pasogolo pankhani yamastrike.
    Atumbuka samalani ine ndangodusamo.

  23. Chabecheker says:

    The labour relations act permits the employer to resort to lockout in case of unresolved labour dispute;see section 46 of the labour relations act

  24. daniel says:

    i dont see any problem fot sealing offices,police are there to protect katundu.if people start vandalising the very same people you will talk trash where was the police.thanks to the police for sealing acb offices.

  25. Fathara says:




  27. Yet the MPs got what they wanted and their contribution economically and socially leaves a lot to be desired.

  28. Thuli says:

    Nkhata mwana wakumpoto bambo.Mtondo weni-weni

  29. toto says:

    Why not seal the Office?Do u want pple to go and get Nankhumwas cctv featuring JB and Lutepo? Zili pa Malawi.

  30. Munthu wa Mulungu says:

    Atsekera dala. Nanga si paja ACB inayamba kufufuza 92 billion kwacha. Zionekabe. Mlandu suwola.

  31. Nyapapi says:

    Let them stay at their homes! Why should they go to the offices just to use free electricity, water, internet, telephone, tea, printing, faxing and shit in government offices for free?

    Fucken traitors!

  32. BBC says:

    Kodi a Mwiza mwaganiza bwanji pamenepo? Zinazi ndizosafunika kuwerengera mabuku. Nkhani ikukambidwa apa ndi yachitetezo cha dziko osati za malamulo a dziko.

  33. kakha Erutu says:

    Che Kabudula nzelu muli nazo.
    munena zoona anthuwa atotumidwa ndipo angopanga mosaganiza. Tiona.

  34. Legal says:

    can the learned dean tell us what is legal about the strike? for example, in many countries, people are not paid when they are on strike and the payment is made by their unions which approve the strike. What is the legal situation of such a case in Malawi is it legal to claim work for work you have not done? Much as strike is legally acceptable right of any ‘labourer’, but we should also look at the employer’s rights! Its high time striking workers in malawi, including me, realised that when on strike, we are supposed to be paid by the union and not the employer, e.g. government. .because striking entails withdrawing labour and withdrawing labour entails no pay… tamvana a MALAWI! KWKEKWKEEWKEKE KWE KWE KWE kkkkkkkkkk tiye nazoni

    1. Zidura Ntengo Undigwere says:

      Indeed Legal @22. An employer should not pay the employee when services are not rendered. Period. That is what it is like everywhere. The union leadership then is able to lead responsibly, and vigorously discourage wild cat strikes. Stupid strikes would be far and between, especially when most of us in Malawi live hand to mouth, month in month out. See if these strikers would demonstrate on an empty stomach, then!

      1. vindere says:

        Hahaha!!! The blind leading another blind. Koma alomwe! Sindinena zambili basi.

  35. Maggie Lucius says:

    It is sad how Malawians are allowing to be used by greedy people with personal agendas who will not even look at them once their evil agendas have been fulfilled. The government does not have money simply put. Where on earth have you seen such maddening % increases that are being suggested by the judiciary et al? Why cant you have half bread than none? Let the government shut down all offices who are striking.

    No work no pay let us see if they will not go back to work. Mxiiiiii

  36. Mulakho power says:

    A buffoon lower and newspaper speaking. You would rather have the idiots at ACB destroy the CASHGATE evidence then came here blame the president for doing nothing to protect the office premises? Your bigotry and hatred for APM is putrid. Get back to Nyika, there are not chains restraining you.

  37. Nama says:

    Kodi iwe Mwiza your worker tells you wants an increament when you check your expenses you find you cannot afford to increase and you tell him and what he does is stop cleaning the house,cooking or even lundry for your kids.But day in and and out he comes to your house and sit in what would you do?What would yo think is the motive?
    You guys you want to kill APM?Mwalemba mmadzi Peter is strong.Mr president thanks for showing you have got …….llls.THESE IDIOTS LET THEM ROT.Amn zamunyasa apiteku Court akatenge injuction.

  38. zaluma says:

    three quarters of Malawians are brutuz. they do not properly understand issues

    1. Abono M.A. says:

      Aaaaaaah Zaluma, waganiza bwanj pamenepa?

  39. Tonde says:

    hey u Nkhata shut ur mouth, why r u not condeming the selfish strike. Do those staff members need the offices while on strike? When budget was being discussed where were all these striking corrupt pple? As for now the best solution is fire some members to make a saving then increase the perks for the remaining ones. Do the same with judiciary. This country is failing to move coz of shallow thinking of the so called legal experts. God will punish you. For once love your country.

  40. johnM says:

    I may not be a lawyer and Nkhata may be an expert however I beg to disagree with his assertion using common sense.

    ACB is a Government body and the premises used by ACB are government premises thus if Government feels that the premises should be off limits to anybody else then the Government has the right to deny anyone access to the premises. After all, the employees are on strike, why do they need the premises when they are on strike?

    I think Mr. Nkhata and his fellows are confusionists. They are constantly complaining when Government has taken action. Why don’t they offer proper solutions to this problem and other problems like this?

  41. Musova nonse a m’boma specicifically a ma court,munali kumbuyo kwa peter,lero peter yemweyo wakusovesan

  42. Nadyanji says:

    Nkhata ndiwe pumbwa ngati ukuti palibe lamulo lovomereza kutseka ma ofesi nanga bwanji sulutiuza lamulo lomwe luletsa?

  43. pooooo says:

    a Dean a Nkhata zoona munganene kuti its illegal???? dont you know that anthu akakwiya and they are sticking at the office amayamba kupanga tamper ma file? and do you know that ma file a ku ACB are very very important/ kodi ma Lawyer a pa Nyasaland pano mwatani? inu mumati ma learned lawyers inu mukukanika kupanga reason!!! ehedeeee pa nyazaland ma lawyer kkkkkkkkkkk

  44. Danny says:


  45. Fwetseke says:


  46. Yazombe says:

    Have the courts been sealed too??

  47. STRIKE says:

    The funny thing about all of these strikes is that they won’t get paid for christmas salaries, maybe in January or February, meaning that the junior staff are the ones that get hurt the most in thee end!! Shame

  48. tchaka says:

    Achita bwino kutseka- atumidwa kuti awonomnge maumboni a cashgate- queen mother ali kuti kodi plliz

  49. Ulumba says:

    Amwiza ndi ndani kuti angalakhule zonveka apa

    1. Pathako Panjuchi says:

      Nzeru zawo zathera mu madread kikiikii

  50. ASS says:


  51. pharisee says:

    shurrrrup you useless Nkhata! this is standard universal practice when there is a strike at a sensitive place lime ACB in case some destroys evidence!! arent i

    1. Malawiana says:

      I totally agree with you Pharisee. Why is it that our so called lawyers want everything to be understood on the legal basis alone? Actions can be taken if they make economic sense, moral sense, religious sense, psychological sense, sociological sense, mathematical sense, etc. That is why government is called a complex system catering for diverse needs. No wonder the lawyers in Malawi behave in a pompous manner thinking only them matter in society.

    2. Mhesha says:

      Dean of Law…chamba chani? You mean u do not realize the importance of sealing the offices on a sensitive body like ACB at this moment? Kodi ku College ku Logic adasiya kuphunzitsa?

    3. Chalume says:

      Eh eeh! Koma does this really call for such emotional response, pharisee? Why are you getting worked up? How come your DPP government let the warehouse with ballots burn in Lilongwe? A pharisee, yankhulani ngati munthu ozindikira before you call people useless. Typical of DPP, simunati!! Kubera mavote ndi mmene zimakhalira chonchi!!

  52. Nachipanti says:

    Tisamve kuti ku ACB kwayakatu? Kapena kuti ma file ena asowa kumeneko?

  53. Lake Malawi says:

    Peter Muthalika has run out of Ideas. One former president once said ” Kuyendetsa bamo simasewera ayi, It’s very serious business” Now every normal Malawian can see that APM is clueless.

  54. Nkasai says:

    Do the employees need the offices for the strike?Let them sit at home!

  55. Issa Kabudula says:

    the problems of labour woes in Malawi does not need an expert to see that there are people, powerful people behind this madness. How can the country like Malawi which its citizens believe in round table discussion can from no where down tools from all the sides? Who is fooling who?

    The problem here is that, people out of ignorance are blinded to believe that Peter can not lead – this is a LIE and am advising every Malawi that Peter will be the best leader ever since Multiparty Democracy – lets follow the man, he will benefit us a long way to come.

    Lets be patriotic and people who got the love for others, many who are strikng are well off than the like of my sisters and my other relatives and many masses of the poor Malawians. Its unfortunate to here of the judiciary, teachers and university lecturers going stricking for 48 – 100 percent, knowingly that the country is in hell of funding.

    The unfortunate part is that of the increases of the presidential and ministerial salaries, you some times wonder what the hell is going on? Lets be human enough to develop ourselves and others.

    1. Zamadula says:

      You start off by suggesting that someone else, presumably Joyce Banda, is behind the strikes. Then in a bizarre twist you end up by asking why and how APM approved the salaries for the legislature and the executive. Are you for real?

      The fact of the matter is that APM and DPP do not need JB or anyone else to mess up things for them. Each new day they show the country that they are quite capable of messing up on their own. As you implied in your closing sometimes you wonder whether APM and his party have a death wish – they originate memos which they subsequently disown, and they create video tapes which later on turn out to be non-existent. Not even JB is capable of comedy of this magnitude…

    2. Dick says:


    3. Israel Difense Force says:

      so the whole of you is thinking that this nepotistic APM can become a what??????

    4. M'ngoni wa pa Ntcheu says:

      Kuganiza kwa ubwampini kumeneko man

    5. truth be told says:

      Keep dreaming hoping that peter will stay long. He is total mess of all in the history of malawi. Do you think all who are striking are uneducated? You talking about people who did law in the varsities. what do you know about labour law? If you dont have something good to say keep your mouth shut to avoid speaking rotten arguments.

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