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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38 thoughts on “End courts strike, Malawi govt pleads with Judiciary”

  1. Zone Six Zingaye says:

    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 Malawians all know that our financial situation is in crisis, donors are out due to Cashgate. If indeed we love our country, we cannot at this point in time look for big salaries when our coffers are in tatters. I know that you are very much troubled with this kind of situation but don’t worry too much, your brother was just tough on these situations (may his soul rest in peace). Come what may, just be strong. Even if they mean to oust you, just be strong and pray to your God. If they manage to oust you through rubbish propaganda like this, don’t worry, God will see you through other means. Just know that even the one that will come to take up your place, will still face the same situation and the problem will continue forever. As such, Malawians will regret for their beloved peaceful country. So be strong man, don’t be forced to do something because people threaten you.

  2. ungwelu says:

    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 can not be on same salary scales. Even within the Executive you have the statutory organization (commercial, fully, partially, and fully subvented) – these can not be on same salary scale.
    Just think a little bit harder and you will classify public service correctly and each segment should have its own wage HARMONY.


    The mistake that was made was that the civil servants paid themselves out and NOW are on a tight corner how to sort the other groups.

    NOTE: While ALL Civil Servants are PUBLIC SERVANTS, NOT ALL public servants are CIVIL SERVANTS.


  3. chakwanuleka says:

    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 loudly. The 92 billion must torment you until the truth is known.

  4. Che Spindulo says:

    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 .

  5. Mzika ya Mw says:

    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!

  6. chindi says:

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

  7. Zagwa says:

    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!

  8. 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.

  9. patriot says:

    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 the people of Malawi” while at the same time siphoning money from NAC to pay for Mlakho.

  10. Cashgate1 says:

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

  11. mahmood says:

    awachita bwino osawawonjezela, atengele phunziro, posankha president azitenga yemwe anthu akumkonda, sizongowona ubwino wawo okha, nde ndi izi!!!

  12. Nanepa says says:

    Apa lakula ndi dyera maka mamagistrate am’maboma eg Thyolo boma magistrate amabwera 11:00am pena 11:45am angogwira pang’ono kenako lunch akatero ngati angabwerere chigawo cha kumadzulo ndi mwayi.Anthu odikirira milandu yosiyanasiyana amangobwerera osathandizidwa mayi MSOSA ,ATOLANKHANI tithandizeni .Chifukwa ikafika nthawi ya increament anthu otere amakhala patsogolo kufuna malipiro okwera.

    please gvt sack these type of judges or magistrates they want higher salaries while they are lazy.


  14. KHARUPA says:


  15. Jabulosi says:

    It is normal practice that people on strike are not paid from the normal vote. I hope these people on strike will not be paid from the judicial salaries vote but their Union’s Vote. This should be common practice in Malawi. If it has never been implemented, please Implement it now ASAP!!!!

  16. CNN says:

    Some comments that favour government show hypocricy. The same government that has spent K27 million recklessly on Mulhako, BEAM & Journos can’t convince the judiciary that it doesn’t have money. Unless madness creeps in your head then support Peter. Mr Lucius Banda has a meagre MSCE but has a salary higher than a lawyer. Does that make sense? Does it reward hardwork? Does it encourage children to go to school? Does it make education a valuable instrument for human development? The answer is a big NO. Let us reward hardwork to avoid inducing corruption into the system. Give unto judges what belong unto them

  17. fkr says:

    Just ask yourself. Where is the money going to come from for the increase? There is no donor money. People paying their taxes in the uk, usa, germany are now tired of having their hard earned money stolen and looted. They will no longer support this government directly also government is making it as hard as possible for out side investor to come. The country is in a mess again just like it was with bingu. It seems peter is trying to bribe journalists to say nice things about him to keep him in power. Why? To rub the country into the ground. Why do people who can’t run a country properly want to run a country? Why not give this job toa person who knows what they are doing so we can ask live easier and that there is some type of future for our children. Right now there is no future.

  18. bande says:

    You have the negotkating team for judiciary so why go to carry news with press? Za ndale basi always.. Convince the team top go back at work than kukankhula ndi anthu wamba

  19. This is realy the begining of problems

  20. Two Tees says:

    Ambiri akufuna ntchito ngati akuona kuti salary yachepa asiye ntchito ena alowe.

  21. MADUKA says:


  22. chatty man says:

    Don’t make promises if you can’t keep them. Give them what you promised!

  23. Twaniche says:

    I request govt to trade very carefully. Govt promised to harmonise salaries and if it makes a mistake to increase judicial salaries, civil service will also strike. Judiciary shld also knw that malawians are aware of all the benefits they recve whch other civil servants dont receive eg monthly fuel of 400ltrs, furniture allwances just to mentn a few. The teachers who taught u at grade I get the 177 thousand gross and thats all and u compare wth them when u get all these benefits. Dont b greedy. Love yr friends. The ministers request ndilomveka.

  24. Malaza says:

    Stay home do not budge. APM has enough money to silence journalists but cannot pay teachers or judiciary staff. He needs to understand how his misguided decisions affect other people!

  25. tonde says:

    Advertise the positions and I will be the first to apply.

  26. zero tolerance says:

    it’s ligitimate for judicial staff. The so-called cashgate has benefited few individuals. Had it been that government funds were allocated appropriately, civil servants could have received good perks including those in judiciary.

  27. Angozo says:

    May judicial support staff adhere to the minister’s request. If they continue striking then I think citizens of Malawi should gang up against them by demostrating against them. Our brothers and sisters are lunguishing in police cells and in prisons because of their greedy.

  28. pyepye says:

    Please go back to work. You are denying us justice.

  29. Marvericj says:

    Is it not possible to fire them, these selfish crooks! You have bn enjoying high salaries, allow govt t harmonise the salaries!!

  30. chatonda says:

    I can see that this is just the beginning of so many strikes in the country. Thew government should tread carefully because we are fast going towards another July 2o.

    1. Malaza says:

      It will be bigger than July 20

    2. Malaza says:

      How do you justify not paying teachers and junior judiciary staff but bribing journalists with hush money?????

    3. khula Ngona says:

      Who are you ? May be fake prophet

  31. malawi wathu says:


  32. Sapitwa kakulanye says:

    I hope everybody understands the action taken especially our learned personnel from the Judiciary. Malawi is in a very difficult monetary situation. Many people are suffering especially those unemployed and in the villages. I thought everybody could persevere so that we live according to our means. It might be difficult to rebuild Malawi if some people do not understand the process. Unless others are convinced that government is extravagant in these difficult times, then it is not wise for the learned to take this path.

  33. Charles Ndiche says:

    Tembenu it is now clear you were the one who mobilised Kalekeni of Civi Service union to stand against the demand by the court employees. You seem to speak the same language. Similarly, tha wild attack by the Livingstonia representative aginst lazzy judges is from government. You are foolish indeed. Instead of solving the problem you are creating another one

  34. Alfred Munduwabo says:

    DPP come in power because the judges , if you made a promise just give them a good salary . John lost his head because of the promise. DPP will loose power because of not following the promise which they had committed with these people.

  35. ndinu wanu inu simungathe kuyendetsa dziko.

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