Malawi chiefs cash in for march against striking workers

Malawi government has been accused of mobilising traditional leaders with cash favours  to  march in the capital Lilongwe and present a petition to Office of President and Cabinet calling on President Peter Mutharika to fire all striking state workers without compensation.

Chiefs marching after getting hefty "allowances"

Chiefs marching after getting hefty “allowances”

Chief Kyungu presenting petition to Chief Secretary Mkondiwa

Chief Kyungu presenting petition to Chief Secretary Mkondiwa

Economic problems facing Malawi have resulted in strikes by various government workers demanding higher pay. For example, support staff for the judiciary has been on strike for close to two months, seeking a 45 percent pay increase which the government says it cannot afford.

Workers at Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau also  went on strike demanding a 70 percent pay raise until the government sealed off their offices and threatened to forfeit their December salaries if they did not return.

There are strikes at University of Malawi, teachers and medical workers have also threatened to join the action.

Under pressure from the growing strikes, government mobilised traditional leaders with cash favours ranging from K100,000 each to  condemn workers withdrawing  labour that they  lack patriotism.

They chiefs presented the petition to Chief Secretary George Mkondiwa titled “Traditional leaders against strikes by public servant”.

Present during the presentation ceremony were Paramount Chief Kyungu of Karonga, Paramount Chief Lundu of Chikwawa, Inkosi ya Makosi M’Mbelwa V of the Jere Ngoni in Mzimba and representatives of Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani V of the Maseko Ngoni in Ntcheu.

In their petition which was read by Paramount Chief Kyungu, the chiefs argued ‘things in the country have reached a point where they can no longer remain silent about abominable behaviour of public servants who are shunning away from work’.

“We condemn the strikes at the courts, Ant-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and university of Malawi and wish to state that the chiefs do not condone such reckless behaviour. Forcing government to raise salaries of civil servants at a time when there is a financial crisis in the country is unacceptable.

“Those workers who are boycotting work at the judiciary should know that it is their prime duty to administer justice in the country. By letting suspects to rot in jail without trial is denying them their human rights and therefore not acceptable in a democratic country where the rule of law prevails,” said Paramount Chief Kyungu who reads the petition.

Kyungu termed as unfortunate and shameful the decision by ACB staff to put down tools, adding chiefs would like to see cash gate cases completed and that university of Malawi workers who are on strike should discuss with their immediate bosses.

The chiefs said all those who are boycotting work  should  go back to their positions with immediate effect and failure to do so President Muhtarika  should fire them without giving them compensation and offer the unemployed the  job.

Chief Secretary George Mkondiwa assured the chiefs that Mutharika would address the concerns as soon as possible.

The petition which has been signed by over 170 chiefs countrywide has since asked all people working in government to be patriotic and loyal.

Government spokesperson Kondwani Nankhumwa denied suggestions that Capital Hill has a hand in coordinating the chiefs.

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ma comedy pa malawi sadzatha. A boma mukapanda kuchenjera muzingoluza milandu.just my opinion


Ophunziranu( those who went to school ) listen: the chiefs in Malawi are themselves civil servants and they have a duty of working for a government that is in power at that time. Come another government, you will see the loyal leaders behind their boss!

M’mabuku mwanu zilimo izi kapena munangophunzira kutukwana anthu a Cikulire ngati mafumu?

Tell us otherwise we shall measure you by the mouth and not by your credentials.

If I were the president’s advisor I would have not allowed the chiefs to March and present a petition to to the president . My reasons to the president would be as follws: 1. Chiefs represent the image of the president as such It would mean presenting a petition to yourself which is meaningless 2. The role of chiefs is not to engage on such issues. Thats the role of CSOs and those that understand labour laws 3.Since the government is against CSOs to March on NAC grant issue so why allow chiefs to march on issues outside their mandate… Read more »

Nanu aboma how can you involve chiefs like Kwataine . You mean you dont know that this chief is 110% PP. The same with Kyungu. Not all chiefs in Malawi are pro DPP. Trade carefully as muyaluka nazo izi.

Message to our beloved president. Pezani good advisors on chiefs administration. You will remeber my words . These chiefs ndi antidyenawo. They have no morals. I thought it was Paramount Chief Lundu whos tola people at JB’s Rally that opposition leaders could not rule this country coz ndi nyansi za anthu?


Kumeneko ndiye kuganiza dziko mudziwoneka kuti muli atsogoleli wozindikila, ine ndikugwilizana nananu
wosati mbavazi wokama ng’ombe pamene isakupatsidwa zakudya,what a stupid


Dpp govt at its best corruption game. Always hidden agendas. Trembling because of strikes and demos.

Kumudzi Phiri

This is what Peter promised that he is to start where his brother stopped. Expect more and lastly his death

Not surprised by the chiefs behaviour at all. These chiefs live in a world of their own, most of them didnt go to school and therefore cannot comprehend what laws of the land say e.g. labour law. Many times they are bribed by politicians to comment on issues they themselves don’t understand and why they are on govt payroll is another topic worthy discussion. I for one have no respect for them because they’re thieves, always supporting the rulling party to feed their big stomachs even at the expense of a poor villager. My advice to them is stop this… Read more »

Mafumu awonetseratu kuti Akumagulidwa. Anthu anuwa akufuna malipilo ochulukilapo .koma inu inu mukuti anthu asamache koma Inu ndiye mumache.Utsogoleri wa mtundu wanji ? CHONDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Tima k100 akunyemelanito mukawagawileko ana amasiye mmidzi mwanumo monga anachitila atolankhani aja.


The president and government should be sued for abusing our cheifs. There is no way they can march for free. Some of them are over seventy years.very old.

However, our chiefs were the first to march, now its our turn to do what exactly the same on 13th. No one should about dialogue.

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