End courts strike, Malawi govt pleads with Judiciary

Malawi government has sent a passionate appeal to the Judiciary to end a  strike by junior judicial workers which has paralysed the court system in the country and  affected the delivery of justice.

Tembenu: End strike

Tembenu: End strike

Minister of Justice and constitutional affairs Samuel Tembenu told a news conference in Lilongwe that government is committed to resolve the impasse as soon as possible.

“We are therefore appealing to the judiciary to live up to their constitutional mandate and and responsibilities in the interest of the people of Malawi. It is the expectation of Government that reason will prevail in resolving this impasse,” said Tembenu.

Tembenu said Judicial staff and support staff have always enjoyed high salaries than other civil servants within the comparable grades.

But the support staff  have vowed to continue  the strike as Judges and Magistrate are set to join after  Judiciaryrejected a proposed salary increment from government and has since demanded between 17 and 35 percent age points more over and above the Capital Hill offer.

The Justice Minister said meeting the demand will defeat the purpose of salary harmonisation.

Court clerks, who began an indefinite strike at the beginning of November, are demanding pay rise and have vowed to keep striking until their demands are met.

The support staff includes court reporters that record all court proceedings, stenographers who transcribe them, court clerks, secretaries and guards.

Justice Lovemore Chikopa, Chairperson of Malawi Judiciary Committee on Conditions of Service said in a letter to OPC  said that failure to address their grievance, they will “proceed to withhold labour.”

The government through a circular proposed a 51 percent increment for the highest paid Judiciary officer at grade P2 and 18 percent for grade M.

The government’s proposal meant that a Judiciary employee who was receiving K151 323 (about $302) at grade PO/CEO would have been at par with a general civil servant at K177 980 (about $355), representing an 18 percent increment.

The Judiciary has rejected the salary hike proposal and Justice Chikopa described the revision as “unacceptable” in a  letter addressed to the secretary for the Department of Human Resource Management and Development (DHRMD) dated November 24 2014.

The Judiciary has made a demand of 52 percentage points more on grade PO/CEO, which is held by resident magistrates, 34 percentage points more on grade J, 19 percentage points more on grade M and 17 percentage points more for grade N to P.

Justice Chikopa said  the salary revision is “against the law and agreement between central government and Judiciary”, adding that the percentages used by government “are incorrect.”

The ongoing strike is hampering progress of trials, as court operations remain suspended.

Several trials, including those in connection with the financial  cashgate scandal have been indefinitely suspended.


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Zone Six Zingaye
Though I am not a DPP supporter, I still feel Professor Peter Mutharika will take my advice. Don’t make any mistake raising salaries for the Judiciary because by so doing, you will attract many problems since all departments will need the same. Secondly, the Judiciary does not perform even if you engage a competent research team to do research on Judiciary performance, you will find that 98% of Malawians will tell you that Judiciary are non performers. How does a non performer be increased salary yet others in more important departments and are performing, not demanding the same? Thirdly, we… Read more »
The problem is that there are many people who are lazy at thinking. This issue of HARMONISATION OF SALARIES is not possible because Government does not employ ONLY CIVIL SERVANTS. Even within the Civil Service itself there are those who work in riskier professions or locations or foreign service and they CAN NOT be on sale salary scales. ARE DHRMD people there? Why are they failing to explain to the civil servants who are blocking the settlements. The problem is that even those who are supposed to THINK have decided not to. Government comprises the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature. These… Read more »
There is more trouble for this illegitimate government which came into power by crooked means. Now the very people you used are up in arms against you. The teachers cooked figures of our votes and when the anomaly was discovered, the judges stepped in and made MEC helpless. God is now punishing you and this will continue until you confess. Now problems are erupting everywhere like springs of water. We are watching and cannot even feel pity because you are a wicked government that came in to steal and cover up your previous since. Chasowa’s blood should cry even more… Read more »
Che Spindulo

I find it very interesting that the first categories of civil servants to be at loggerheads with Peter Mutharika’s government are teachers and judiciary staff . Teachers are widely believed to have assisted in the rigging process during the May 2014 elections . And it is the judiciary which declared Mutharika the “winner” of the presidential elections and hastily offered its premises for the swearing-in ceremony . Well, teachers and judges, you made your bed . Its now time to lie on it .

Mzika ya Mw

Kuyendetsa boma simasewela…apa nde ng’ombe zayang’ana ku dazibomu. I doubt if this imposed govt will last as i can see chaos in the country coz of lack of solutions to the challenges masses are facing…musovenge mwakuka!


waka yayi ndine professor acourt mumu woneske mbwaza ameneyo!!!!!!!!!!!


Government should lay bare the already high perks these fools are getting and ask the public to assist in pumping sense into their heads. Malova onsewa? This is not oil-rich Saudi Arabia. Look at how much a civil servant gets? Tikutopelani! Mukutionjeza!

Private Lawyer wavutika

These are problems brought by Bakili Muluzi when he wanted to please certain sections of the civil service. Bakili Muluzi set a wrong precedence in Malawi including allowing vendors to trade anywhere and allowing people to build anywhere. I hate it when I see Peter allowing this useless former president to be dining with him.

The attack referred to by Ndiche @ 3 about “Lazy Judges” purporting to have been made by someone from Livingstonia could not, possibly, have been made by someone from the north. These are the usual efforts by our politicians to divide and rule and since the northerner is an already hated species, it is expected this will stir up hate and divert attention from the real issues. Asking the judiciary to go back to work “in the interest of the people of Malawi “is the same as asking the donors to resume AID “in the interest of the people of… Read more »

Hahaha abwezeleni amayi boma ili, bwezi pano atasova kalekale powapatsa anthu makobodi awo.

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