Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has called on the Peter Mutharika government to resolve quickly the industrial strike by the support staff of Malawi’s judiciary system has paralyzed the courts, causing overcrowding in police cells and the indefinite suspension of major cases – including government corruption trials.
Court marshals, clerks and messengers are demanding the 30 percent salary increases promised by the government two years ago.
In an interview with Nyasa Times, MCP spokeperson Dr Jessie Kabwira said the junior staff strike is denying Malawians access to justice.
“We want government to increase the salaries of junior civil servants and resolve this strike so that everyone have access to justice. All in all justice delayed is justice denied,” she said.
Government authorities say closed door negotiations to resolve the matter continue in the capital, Lilongwe.
But the striking workers have vowed that whatever the case, they will accept nothing short of a 30 percent increase in their salaries.
A similar strike lasted three months in 2012 after the magistrates and judges joined the labour action.
Anti-government protests and stay-aways brought the country to a standstill in 2011.
At least 19 people were killed during a police crackdown on demonstrations against President Bingu wa Mutharika’s government in July, 2011 and more than 275 people were arrested across the country.
Malawi’s economy has been hamstrung by suspension of donor inflows to the budget following cashgate corruption scandal with about K20 billion stolen in 2012 and K92 billion from 2005.