Support staff strike shuts down Malawi courts: Demand pay hike

Business in Malawi’s courts came to standstill on Monday at the judiciary support staff have down tools demanding that government should increase their salaries as it did with all civil servants.

Strike action at High Court in Blantyre

Strike action at High Court in Blantyre

Government recently issued a circular announcing salary increment for all civil servants save the judicial staff.

This apparently did not go down well the judiciary support staff, who have now taken action by downing tools to push government to increase their salaries as well.

“We will not go back to work until our demands are met in full,”  said one striking staff.

The support staff includes court reporters that record all court proceedings, stenographers who transcribe them, court clerks, secretaries and guards.

Their action will likely paralyse the courts and access to justice.

Judiciary spokesperson Joseph Chigona, who confirmed the development, said they are discussing with government to so that they resolve the matter with some urgency.

“There is need for government to move in quickly as the Judiciary cannot afford to have the courts closed for a long period,” said Chigona.

In 2012, Judges and magistrates joined in an indefinite strike started by judiciary support staff that lasted for close to three months to resolve.

In another development, staff at Zomba district hospital on Monday downed tools demanding the removal of three top officials at the facility.

The three officials are Principal Health Officer John Kachoka, Human Resources Officer Wittily Phiri and District Nursing Officer Alinafe Mangulenje.

In a letter addressed to Secretary for Health Chris Kang’ombe, the staff claim they are making the demands to improve service delivery at the office.

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Mirella K.
Guest

These judiciary staff never striked when their fellow civil servants used to get only 60% of their (judiciaries) salaries. Let me concur with a certain commentator here, the Judiciary more especially in this country where justice is circumvated, is the most useless of all branches of govt, more of a liability than anything else in govt…
If I were Mr. President, I could have told them they must either resume work or simply resign…Shupiti!

Had it not been for the human right cries, govt can afford even for a year without these selfish crooked uncivil servants!!!

mlomwe
Guest

Those shupid people ngati asakufuna asiye ncthito anthu akuba ndi a court amaweruza mwachinyengo tikawaona kumwamba ngati akaweruze.Azawo maphunzitsi akubvutika kuphunzisa zuwa lonse akawerukanso part time konseku kuti achite bwino koma inu ntchito ma game pa computer

The Truthful One from the West
Guest
The Truthful One from the West
I am surprised with some of the comments attacking the striking court staff on the basis that they receive higher salaries than the other civil servants. This is a hopeless and ill-informed positiom. It is obvious that Peter Mutharika and Goodall Gondwe made a serious mistake by not increasing the salaries for court staff. If I may ask what is their reason? The strike by court staff is legitimate. The fact that salaries for court staff are higher than other civil servants cannot be a valid reason for not increasing court staff salaries. Is Goodall Gondwe losing his grip? I… Read more »
Livulezi river
Guest

Agalu inu a mma khothi, tangotionetsani cha nzeru chomwe mwapanga Chaka chino deserving salary increase! A Prof Mutharika, musawavere agalu amenewa!! After all, ziweruzo zawo zimakhala zosintha ndi ndalama, kuyimba kwa Joseph Mkasa!!! No money, you are doomed!!! Malawian judicial system!!!! Very bad indeed!!!!!!

Livulezi river
Guest
Govt should not succumb to their demands!! Is judiciary a money making govt entity that they have seen that they have made more profits for the govt? Judiciary is the worst performer in all govt depts. You take ages concluding a simple & straight forward case. Your education is not benefiting this country but rather your bellies!!! If you don’t want the current salary, you better resign and open up your magistrate court somewhere!! After all, you got clients at your disposal!!!! We know you are being sent by these northern judges so that Prof. Peter should be seen as… Read more »
Livulezi river
Guest
If there is a very useless, senseless, unproductive & inconsiderate arm of govt, yet with highly educated dogs, then it’s judiciary. Each and every year it wants to give govt headache for nothing! If you go in their offices and find out what each staff has done per day, you will be surprised to note they had absolutely done nothing!!! They spend the whole day playing games on their computers, knocking off, then cry for high salaries at the end of the month! It’s high time govt came up with performance appraisal for each civil servant lest others are riding… Read more »
Openness
Guest

Very true, i agree with you. So why do they demand high perks each year?

Livulezi river
Guest

If I were a president, I would be paying more monies to ministry of health, ministry of education & ministry of home affairs in that order. These are the only govt personnel who work tirelessly around the clock to make govt business tick!! Other depts are just passengers & parasites in govt coffers.

Cashgate 1
Guest

I hope Ma INGOs will also join soon. Sinanga Dollar yatsetseleka kwambiri ndiyenso salary zawo zapanga devalued. Waiting which one to be proactive. Let the dance begin as we all dance to the tune of strike and devaluation of kwacha. And it is making sense, when kwacha loses value why is it that employers become adamant in automatic adjustment of salaries as MERA does with Fuel? MERA principle should apply here.

chimangeni
Guest

these guys are too selfish….amalandira kale ndalana zambiru….akufunanso chani?Maclerk ambiri ndi mbuzi samathanso interpretation…. kumangodya ndalama zaulere and yet sikuti Ali ndi mapepala ataliatali ayi

citizen
Guest

olo mitapanga strike, ntchito yanu somaonekanso, zigamulo zopoyila targeting osauka including the poor civil servant. khalani I dont feel your impact.

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