Judiciary strike stalls Lutepo’s cashgate case in Zomba

The protesters hang posters at the High Court in Zomba.

The protesters hang posters at the High Court in Zomba.

Poster  at High Court gates in Zomba

Poster at High Court gates in Zomba

Court proceedings on a cashgate case involving businessperson Oswald Lutepo failed to resume at the High Court in Zomba following the Judiciary support staff strike currently taking place in the country.

Lutepo is being accused of theft and laundering K2.1 billion believed to have been obtained in the plunder of government funds popularly referred to as Cashgate.

People who came to witness the case in the morning were greeted with posters which the Judiciary protesters hanged on the gates at the High Court.

The Judiciary staff wants government to effect their salary increment just as that of their counterparts in the civil service.

According to Linley Hebert, a spokesperson for the striking workers,  the  strike is a result of the government’s failure to honor a 2012 agreement.

“In October [this year], the government reviewed the salaries of the civil servants, but we were not included in that revision. Yet in 2012, we had an agreement that each time they are revising the salaries of the civil servants, [they will be increasing our salaries as well].  So, [after adhering to the agreement in 2013], we are surprised to see that this time we are left out,” he said.

Ministry of Finance spokesperson Nations Msowoya told a local radio station it is hard for the government to meet the workers’ demand due to financial constraints  following a donor aid freeze against Malawi’s government.

Msowoya said “at the prevailing economic circumstances and budgetary constraints will make a little bit difficult for the treasury to bow down to the demands [of judiciary support staff].”

It is now the second week since the strike started and discussions with government have remained inconclusive.

Human rights campaigners and legal experts say the strike is contributing to human rights violations.

“There are those people who have to be taken to court within 48 hours,” noted lawyer George Kadzipatike who works in a private practice in the northern city of Mzuzu.

“We cannot make application for them to be granted bail.  There are those people who do not want to live with their partners, they would like the court to decree that they be divorced, we cannot file any petition through the courts.”

The strike has paralysed the justice delivery system as suspects continue to remain in police and prison cells awaiting court trial.

Malawi police spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo said the only option they have is “giving police bail to those with minor offenses.”

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41 thoughts on “Judiciary strike stalls Lutepo’s cashgate case in Zomba”

  1. Ambolozio says:

    U said w can survive without aid so u nd 4 wat? First u hv 2 brainstorm this iz very poorest country u can c ather pipo they failling to provide their basic needs, zauchitsilu.

  2. Mbakwazulu says:

    Inu a makhoti musandilankhulitse pambali pakati ndikupawona ayi. Kodi siinu nomwe munathandiza chitsilu chinzanucho kuti chikhale pampando pobela mavoti ndi tiziletso tanu mumapeleka tija. Lero zakupwetekani? Kapena munagwilizana ndi galu wanuyo kuti mukamuthandiza kubela adzakuwonjezelani malipilo? mulira simunathe, uku ndikuyamba chabe. Moya uwakhaulitse amenewo adziwedi kuti moya nayoso ndi Lawyer.

  3. Onasiwelo says:

    If he failed to solve the University of Malawi feud when he was minister of education do you think he gives it a dam for you support staff at the judiciary he does care at all, after all you are the ones who put him on the seat though your stupid injunctions and what ever means you used go and ask stupid Mbendela and his butch of staff and the attorney general. This is the begging wait for more mulira zenizeni.

  4. kagonanitu says:

    Kasi MP waku Zomba Ngwa PP? Ndimo tikutondekera kunozga vinthu chifukwa tiwona munthu pa maso mumalo mwakuwo suzgo na kunozga suzgo ilo kuti vinthu viyendenge makola mu charu.

  5. FREDO MANONDO says:

    peter solve it, should i remind you than you are also a lawyerr, solve for the serve of our profession

  6. osuma says:

    u guys although ur demand is real genuine but posters u posted at Zomba it does made good to the head of state. Imfa ikamabwera simapanga odi oti inu mukuona kuti mukamalemba mau a mwano ndiye kuti boma likupatseni madandu anuwo! Perekani ulemu kwa mtsogoleri wa dziko. Inu amene mwalemba poster imeneyo dziwani moto umapita kwatsala tchire ndiye nchoncho pelekani madanduwo mwa ulemu.

    1. Nalimata says:

      @ Suma

      You applauded this kind of thing during JB’s time. So what now. Get life and stay with it.

    2. bogodo says:

      eeish you have murdered the queens language man

  7. moto mwikho says:

    This is pure anarchy and the posters confirm it. I did not know we have such uncouth people in the judicial service.

  8. Chejumo says:

    PLZ CAN SOMEONE SCHOOL ME ARE JUDICIARY SUPPORT STAFF NOT REGARDED AS ONE OF THE ARM OF GOVERNMENT, WHATS HAPPENING,,,,,,,,,,,””””’>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<?????????

  9. ameneyu aone cardiac basi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! with all this nonsence, people from the south will be most sufferers!!!!!!!!!!!!, njala imayamba kumwera, mankhwala amayamba kusowa kumwera, china chilichonse choipa chimayamba kumwera!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! msiye kuika mbuzi pampando!!!!!!!!!!!!!! mwamva anguru inu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. KING SOLOMONS WISDOM says:

    MY TAKE ON THIS IS DAT DE GOVT DOES THIS ON PURPOSE-THEY DO NOT WANT SPEEDY JUSTICE COZ THE VERY PEOPLE WE EMPLOYD AS LEADERS ARE CONECTED TO MANY CASES. I CONSIDER ANYONE WORKIN 4 GOVT AS CIVIL SERVANT.THIS IS DISCRIMINATION.WHY WERE TEACHERS SALARIES INCREASED? ANSWER IS COZ THEY TOOK PART IN VOTE RIGGING.ASK MACS MBENDERA SC.THE TEACHERS HAD PRODUCED FAKE ADDITIONS ON PURPOSE COZ HAD BEEN PROMISED PAY RISES.BUT NOW THERE IS NO MONEY EVEN TO PAY THE VERY TEACHERS WHO HAD BEEN CHEATED.TEACHERS MUST NOT BE EASILY CHEATED.FINALLY I SIMPASIZ & PLEAD WITH JUDCIAL STAFF.BUT PLS GO BACK TO WORK U R JUST AS IMPOT AS MEDICAL STAF.FINALY,THE PEOPLE WE EMPLOYM AS LEADES MUST COM OUT IN DE OPEN NOW NOW AND REPORT TO THE NATION WAY FOWAD.TWO WEEKS GONE IS JUSTICE DENIED TO TOO MANY PEOPLE-THOUSANDS OF CASES YET NOT ATENDED TO.

  11. Yokwiya says:

    Government put itself in this mess soon after attainment of democracy. It treats other professions as sacred. I remember during Kamuzu days salaries were equal depending on qualifications. All graduates started on the same level. I didnt matter whether you were a lier, doctor or teacher. Today lawyers or judiciary staff are treated as if they are the most elite. I dont know why they get better perks than other professions. If I were APM I would not succumb to these demands. Salaries for these guys were raised just a few months ago after holding the government to ransom. They want to do the same now when they know everybody is anxious to have cashgate cases done with pronto. If they claim to be part of civil service the SKC commission should recommend the revamping of the judicial staff complement as well.

  12. Mbanangwa says:

    The problem of using two different standards or yardsticks as if the judiciary staff are above all other civil servants. Things will stall indeed. You, judiciary fellows, you are already better paid than the rest of the civil servants. Why can you not hav pity on the government that is struggling to make ends meet. Your way of doing will paralyse a lot of things. Stagnation will be great, disgruntlement will increase and this will spread to other government departments. Schools and hospitals will fall suit nd you will cause things to b ard for APM to steer the country into prosperity.

  13. nyaphaphi says:

    some comments on the posters just shows that they have been sent by PP how could one say Lutepo not guilty…ooo no spare us you PP thieves zitsuru mwationongera economy

  14. palibekanthu says:

    After this judiciary strike, UNIMA will come in.

  15. sipe says:

    musazisiye choncho nkhalamba zimenezi mpaka zife ngati abale awo nthawi ijayi, kuba basi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. wisestfool says:

    Mbuzi za judiciary izi kuba too much. Kusowetsa ma file a milandu osawapatsa ndalamazo PETER wamva!!

  17. NZUKULU wa NYAPHAPHI says:

    INDE NDALAMA ZIKUFUNIKA KOMA MA MESEJIWO ARE NOT RIGHT. ZIKUKHUZANA CHANI NDI BINGU? AND JUDICIARY YANJI KUPANGA STRIKE OSATSATIRA MALAMULO. KULI MA JAJI THOO SANAKUUZENI KUTI STRIKE YOPANDA NOTICE IS ILLEGAL STRIKE. INU MOMWE MUMAMULUMBIRITSA MUMAYESA MWAPAMBANA. LEAVE HIM ALONE YOU JUST DOING YOUR JOB. NDALAMA AKABE KODI KUTI AKUPASENI CASH BAJETI MEANS ALIYENSE AVALE ZILIMBE

  18. Aferazao says:

    Peter is dining and wining with different kinds of people now and again at Sanjika or Kamuzu Palace, paying chiefs and different kind of people to denounce federalism calls using tax payers money, can that money not be reserved to increase the salaries of judicial junior staff?

  19. Goodwin Belewu says:

    Lets them been punished because they are the one who put peter in power , so they should no that they made mistake on election case when people were complaining about the results . Now you are harvesting .

  20. palibekanthu says:

    After this judiciary strike, UNIMA will come in. I do not know what will Peter government do.

  21. Mlomwe says:

    Mukulira chani a Judiciary.Inu nomwe muna muyika Peter pamupanda midnight ife tili mutulo.Kamufuseni Mbendera ndi Kenyata Nyirenda.Zitsiru munya muwona sakweza malipiro anu anthu oyipa kwambiri Judiciary ndi ZODIACK.

  22. Dineo says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm??

  23. Mwene says:

    Until attitude of discrimination is wiped out of officials these problems will resurface more frequently.Treat everybody equally in civil service and statutory corporations period!!!!!! No Chewa, Lhomwe, Tumbuka, Ngoni, Tonga,Sena, Nyakyusa but Malawian as DR. Ngwazi Kamuzu Banda used to say.

  24. tsetsefly says:

    These are the challenges facing impoverished nations like ours. We see presidents coming in and going out but they leave the nation poorer than it was before. Do you know that at one point Malawi was described as a star performer economically by the west? Later one president came and left with K1.4B unaccounted for. Another one came and went away with K92B. As if that was not enough another accidental president made away with K13B. Foolishly Malawian hire an accomplice to the K92B theft to be thier president. So the support staff in the Judiciary are justified to strike because they know the few coins in the govt coffers will go into somebody’s pocket.

  25. yohane says:

    I hope you too intelligent to find money. Tell the govenmnet exact place to fine the cash. These guy at judiciary receive more than any other person in civil service. Workup people its time to serve malawi we tired of leaping from where you didnt sore

  26. DANIEL PHIRI says:

    he failed to resolve the academic freedom issue, do you expect this man to lead the country. kupusa a Malawi, you easily forget.

  27. iyayi says:

    if these workers’ salaries are less than the rest in the civil service,then it should be harmonized,but if what they are bargaining for is a raise to be on top of everyone of the same scale in gvt then thus foolish,people in judiciary including judges and lawyers must know that the rest of the civil service is equally important just as they are,they must stop acting like they are more important than the rest,this sick mentallity must stop,dont overexegerate your importance,despite enjoying the highest perks in civil service,the judiciary has proved to be very incompetent,so many unfinished cases,do these people even work at all? a small case being adjourned several times? for example take health and judiciary,both of these work under a resource limmited setting,but at least Doctors and nurses work hard and acomplish their duties,and they even work for more hours per week than the judges and lawyers,they also went to school,for even more years than judges,but the doctors will never overexegerate their importance in society,am not a dpp member trying to shield mutharika,i just thought it wise to air my views,good perks are needed uniformly acoording educational level,vigoroysity of work and experience,and this must be across the whole civil service.

  28. Zidura Ntengo Undigwere says:

    It is one thing to strike, as it is a constitutional right. But it is another to attack someone like APM or minister Gondwe, personally, just because they are the star political leaders (exhibit: the posters). The strikers are alienating the establishment, when goodwill is what is needed. Where is the leadership in these strikers?
    It would indeed be a pity if any of these “cashgate” culprits get acquitted on the basis of their rights having been violated – rights to a timely trial.
    There definitely is no doubt this government grasps the nettle of the fiscal challenges we are facing.

  29. Ma says:

    People wanting to divorce denied righrs? Koma lawyer uyu….they can just walk out and wait till strike is over! No big deal…

    koma how much will be additional expense by giving these guys increment as others? Don’t just say government can not afford ! Come on talk with numbers! Am sure it wont even reach mk200,000,000 additional to government and peter wastes $17,000 per night in hotel! People be reasonable give them. .

  30. Pido says:

    Sukudziwa Iwe

  31. why why why says:

    Blame your bosses for aiding APM to become the president of malawi. This is thanks you get. You reap what you sow. Next time do better!!!!!

  32. Noworknopay says:

    No work,no pay!!! Peter, fire them and let them re-apply their jobs. Too many jokes in Malawi , now a days!!!!

  33. Kenkkk says:

    Why were The judiciary support staff salaries reviews or increments excluded? I find the govt’s decision really stupid. You just have to give them their pay rises, find the money from somewhere, just as you did with the rest of the civil service. They are civil servants, so their salaries should have been reviewed with the other civil service staff.

    Furthermore, it is just common sense, that when you increase judges salaries, you should also increase their support staff otherwise you just create resentments.

    1. TheMask says:

      Man be current to current affairs, they receive more than civil service , they are not in civil service rather judicial service. government wants all statutory , judicial and civil service to have same salaries. civil service receive very little than these doing strike. they have to swallow the pride and accept it, no salary increment to them. if they do not want let them all resign. increment to them it means a strike from civil service.

      1. ramahwle says:

        iwe mbuzi ukuti ndiwe the mask, have you seen their pay slips or their pay roll???? you are one of the stupid people spreading lies in the social media. drivers and messengers in the judiciary are getting k36,000.00 a month and you are busy lying that drivers get k85,000.00 ngati munayiwona, mbuziiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. Kenkkk says:

        Thanks for opening my eyes. I think the civil service reforms should harmonise the civil service. Assuming saulosi Is listening and act to include this harmonisation. Judicial or not they are all civil servants.

    2. johnM says:

      In addition to what the mask has stated, they recently had a salary hike when Government raised the salary of judges. Every time the Government raises the salary of judges, these people strike, when the Government raises the salary of civil servants, they strike again. Why should they always get a pay rise every time? Government should solve this once and fall all.

      1. Kenkkk says:

        Thanks JohnM but did the junior judicial staff also get the pay rise at the same time as the judges? If so, then what do they want another increase for as it was just recent? Is it because of the kwacha keeping on losing strength? If that is the case then the whole malawi civil service will be on strike again to keep up with the kwacha. This could just snowball.

        1. Mirella K. says:

          These judicial support staff are really very selfish despite being the most incompetent in the public serive system. Let them resign aaaah!

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