Magistrates petition Malawi President over remuneration, benefits: Strike notice

Magistrates and Judicial officials in Malawi have petitioned President Arthur Peter Mutharika over what they call poor remuneration and benefits and that they have given him a seven-day ultimatum to meet their demands.

Mutharika gives his remarks at the meeeting with World Bank Directors at Kamuzu Palace-Pic. by Abel Ikiloni

Mutharika: Given seven day ultimutum

In the petition, dated April 23, 2015 and entitled “Notice to Strike by Magistrates for Non Compliance and Implementation of Salaries Approved by National Assembly”, the Magistrates say they have taken the action “pursuant to Section 46 (3) of the Labour Relations Act, as read with Section 31 of the Republican Constitution”, which gives the right to every person “including Magistrates” to withdraw labour.

“Your Excellency, as a fair labour practice, we give seven (7) days’ notice effective the date undersigned to this petition in writing that should the dispute remain unresolved by the 3rd of May, 2015, we reserve the right to withdraw our labour,” reads the petition, which Nyasa Times has seen.

According to the petition, in 2014, the National Assembly had approved recommendations to improve Magistrates and judicial officials’ remuneration and benefits. There are no specific details in the petition about the proposed improvements in remuneration and benefits.

Apparently, when government had been dilly-dallying to implement the approved remuneration and benefits, the matter ended up in court.

“Your Excellency, you may wish to know that nobody is above the law, and court orders have to be complied with unless set aside on appeal. The Executive Branch of Government let alone the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development or Attorney General did not appeal against the ruling of the court when it made its determination on the same,” the petition reads, adding that what remains now is the implementation of the approved salaries and “compliance of the court order by the Minister and Economic Development”.

The Magistrates claim in the petition that they have attempted to engage the Executive Branch on the matter without any success as the Executive “continued to change goal posts without reaching any compromise”.

They also claim that following the Executive’s conduct, Magistrates in Malawi “who handle 95 percent of cases in our courts”, continue to suffer pecuniary embarrassment “in these harsh economic times”.

The Magistrates claim that the Minister of Finance may be “out of touch” with the problems confronting Magistrates in the subordinate courts across the country “hence his stand on our salary demands”.

“We are, therefore. Afraid that this matter has remained unresolved for a long time and out patience has been tested to the limit and is wearing thin. We are now approaching another Financial Year (2014/2016)…parliamentary proceedings are due to start on May 5, 2015.

“It is with this in mind that we seek Your Excellency’s indulgence as a person with vast legal knowledge, experience and as a person with great respect for the Rule of Law. It is with this belief hope that we sincerely believe that this matter will be resolved sooner than later,” concludes the petition.

The petition is signed by the Chairperson of the National Magistrates Association, Vice Chairperson, the Secretary, Publicity Secretary and Executive Members. It is copied to Chief Justice, Speaker of Parliament, Finance Minister, Chief Secretary to Government, Attorney General, Registrar, High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal and the President, Malawi Law Society, among others.

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15 thoughts on “Magistrates petition Malawi President over remuneration, benefits: Strike notice”

  1. KHUERE says:

    TIYENI NAYENI AMENEYU ASATITOLE NDI MAVOTI ACHE AKUBAWA NANUNSO MULI NDI ANA OTI APHUNZIRE ASAKULEPHELESENI KUPHUNZISA ANA ANU IFETU KU MA PRIVATE COMPANIES TIKUJOYA.

  2. Mtonga wa pa phata says:

    Akufuna ndalama zambiri za chani? Amapanga chani mma office mu apart from kupanga ma deal ndi a cash gate? Okuba mbuzi nde kuthamangitsa judgement. mxi

  3. oneil says:

    just introduce marshal law, magistrates have failed us, they only conclude cases of poor people and play delaying tactics when hearing cases involving the greedy ilite. so let them strike it will yield nothing coz we already see nothing in their work. they are just a lazy bunch!

  4. BigMan says:

    Only in Malawi! A bunch of lazy half cooked clowns wanting more money for sitting phwiii!

  5. Mfwethu says:

    If there is an arm of govt that doesnt deserve any salary review is judiciary. For heavens sake these people do not perform at all, I think Saulosi must do a performance appraisal on the juduciary before APM can approve anythg. Only those seen to have performed for the past 3 yrs or so shuld get an increase the rest shouldnt.

  6. Mphuti says:

    My advice to Peter and his group is that. Don’t bow your heads on these useless magistrates. Let them go on strike and loaf. Pay them their monthly salary and stay put. They are the ones that will suffer. After all, we don’t see any benefit out of their job. We have cases which are way from 2000 and these people are failing to conclude them. We are used to see cases not moving even if they go to work everyday and I don’t think their stay away from work will mean anything to people who have cried for long time for their efficiency. Please Peter listen to me. Leave them to go on strike and keep on paying their salaries, you’ll agree with me “Anyela, Aphwitsa amenewa”.

  7. Malipeya says:

    The Magistrate have a valid issue, But some of them are denting this noble job. Corruption too much. Others who issue stiffer penalties deserve this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. stupid malawi judges you want more money but ur failing to finish cash gate

  9. Malindima says:

    My Government has no money honorable citizens. You know donors stopped helping us and what ever you demand can not be met not because Iam shifting the goal posts but simply that there is no money. This is my answer
    Yours sincerely
    AP Mutharika
    President of Malawi

  10. Akatswiri says:

    Tiyeni nazo amagwetu

  11. Zanga Phee! says:

    Finish cash gate cases, you will have double salaries why you worrying?See my name.

  12. Mbanangwa says:

    The beginning of a series of strikes. Will this help Malawi at all?

  13. koma Umbuli? says:

    How much are you getting? We are tired of your annual strikes over salaries, you corrupt magistrates.

  14. Opportunist says:

    Pitala chimene amadziwa ndikuzikwezera salary yake ndi mzake Saulosi basi.Zoti anthu akuvutika pamalawi sizimuyenda ata.Zuma watiwuza kale that we should take our leaders to task for our stinking poverty than blaming him.Our leaders are putting anything in their pockets without thinking of their people.Greedy useless leaders.

  15. ri says:

    Malawians, lets stop crime and any kind of lawlessness, and make magistrates’ work unnecessary, otherwise the judicial guys are will pick everything from govt coffers.

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