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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Phodogoma
Guest
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… Read more »
puludzu
Guest

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.

Kaziulika Chimugonda
Guest

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.

BalakaGuy
Guest

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

chindere
Guest

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

chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa
Guest
chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa
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… Read more »
Alarmson Kamanga
Guest

Timwalira. The guy can close every government institution.

Sanniphiri
Guest

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

Kenkkk
Guest
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… Read more »
machendy
Guest

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!

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