Grass root justice has come to standstill following a strike by Magistrates in the country, vowing to go back to work unless government gives them house allowances and arrears accumulated since 2014.
The strike has spread to all courts in the country and paralysed operations of the judiciary.
Patrick Mwamali, spokesperson for Association of Magistrates in Malawi, southern region chapter has also warned that High Court judges have indicated they will join the strike in solidarity with the court magistrates.
“The strike for the Judiciary staff is on. The executive arm of government has not responded to our demands,” Mwamali said.
He said the association just received communication from the Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda who said the minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe was looking into the issues.
“We want the government, the executive arm of government to give us what is due to us. The demands are Constitutional, parliament approved of what we are demanding in 2014,” he said.
Mwamali conceded the strike will paralyse the justice system in rural areas where the magistrates court are the only centres people go to seek justice.
Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula said the strike would not affect the appeal case of Agriculture minister George Chaponda which is in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Blantyre.
Government is currently going through economic hardship and is struggling to meet the current wage bill and can therefore not afford any fringe benefits like housing allowances, according to Finance Minister.