Judicial workers who are on an indefinite strike over work conditions and higher pay on Friday turned Blantyre High Court premises into a demonstration arena.
People, mostly women, who can safely be assumed as employees in the judiciary were camped outside the court premises with heavy hitting musical instruments dancing to the popural Fikisa song ‘Akamwile Kuchitekwele’.
The people were spotted in red colours -fully reminding the nation of the newly won academic freedom battle – some flashing red cards. They were also heard singing songs of dissent targeted at President Bingu wa Mutharika.
The state, as usual, wanted to spring into action – sending uniformed police officiers to intimidate and stop the people from exercising their due right to assemble, celebrate, sing, dance, chant. But they were not let into the premises by the visibly angry employees in the judIcal system.
Austin Kamanga, a spokesman of the Judicial Action Group spearheading the strike said the worker are “fighting for new conditions of service which were approved by parliament in 2006.”
The Mutharika adminsitration seems to have no corner where they can point and say “we have done well” without spots of doubt.
The people are angry, the people are unhappy and the government appears desperate and lost for action and solutions!
Anti-government protests and strikes rocked the country last year.
At least 19 people were killed during a police crackdown on demonstrations against President Bingu wa Mutharika’s government in July, and more than 275 people were arrested.
Malawi’s economy has been hamstrung by suspension of donor inflows to the budget. Donors provide 40 percent of the development budget.