The judiciary support staff have began an industrial action to press for higher pay and better work conditions as harmonised with those of judicial officers, be approved by parliament with immediate effect which will have a bearing to the elections case and sources say it is politically inspired to derail electoral justice.
The workers are also demanding the resignation of Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda an Registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Agness Patemba for failing to address their issues.
Some judiciary workers who spoke to Nyasa Times mentioned a lawyer and ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) official as being ones orchestrating the strike to derail the presidential election case.
The two have been paying junior staff to push for the sit-in in an attempt to paralyse the election case whose trial is scheduled to start July 29.
UTM Party president Saulos Chilima (first petitioner) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera (second petitioner) are seeking nullification of the presidential results in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections. President Peter Mutharika, by virtue of being the declared winner, is the first respondent while MEC is the second respondent.
So to delay the progress of the case, the DPP wants to orchestrate a strike at the judiciary by bribing support staff to demand better working conditions and packages.
The DPP move has however angered the senior leadership of the judiciary who think this is a pure attack on them by the executive.
“They think they are being belittled and also they look at the whole as an attack on them. I doubt if the tactic will affect the progress of the case,” said a source within the judiciary.
Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court handling the case is to rule this Thursday on an application by Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) seeking a 14-day extension to file sworn and effectively provide direction on how the case will proceed.