Budget cuts baffle Judiciary


The Judiciary has expressed concern over the significant cut to their proposed budget for 2015/2015 financial year.

Among others, the Judiciary has seen its proposed allocation on Other Recurrent Transaction (ORT) cut from K2.3 billion to K1 billion.

Meanwhile, the Judiciary feels the development will make it impossible to purchase new vehicles for judges, which were expected to cost K1.6 billion.


Controlling Officer for the Judiciary, Joseph Chigona, made the remarks in Lilongwe yesterday when he appeared before a cluster of three committees; Legal Affairs Committee, Commissions and Statutory Authorities and Public Appointments Committee.

“When I was leaving Blantyre yesterday, I had in mind that ORT would have K2.3 billion. But when we went to Treasury this morning to get budget documents, I noted that ORT had been reduced by K1.3 billion. It means that out of the remaining K1 billion, we have to look at contractual obligations like fuel allowances, medical schemes and insurances. What remains from there is about K354 million,” Chigona said.

He added: “This means that the issue of judges’ vehicles, rehabilitation of courts and regalia for judges will not be addressed in this financial year. ”


Chigona, who is also Registrar of the Supreme Court and High Court, also told the committees that the K100 million they proposed for Cashgate cases is also not there.

“On Cashgate cases, we agreed with government to set aside K100 million to enable judges prosecute the cases. As you may be aware, some judges are supposed to travel to Lilongwe for the cases. But a perusal of the document shows that K100 million is not there,” he said.

According to Chigona, on development budget, they had asked for K750 million for the Commercial Court in Blantyre but instead they have been allocated K500 million.

The Judiciary also proposed K500 million for new Judiciary complex in Lilongwe but according to Budget Document Number 5, no money has been allocated for the project.

Chagona told the MPs that he received no communication on the changes Treasury made.

Chigona was accompanied by Chief Courts Administrator Rodrick Moyo and Accountant Dick Malisawo.

One of the members of the committee, Malani Mtonga, was concerned with the changes.

“It concerns me to see how the Registrar is explaining. He looks frustrated. As MPs, we have to make sure that the Judiciary becomes completely independent. What is happening is not fair,” Mtonga said.

Chairperson of Commissions and Statutory Authorities, Lilian Patel, who chaired part of the meeting, told the officials that the committee will lobby with Treasury to consider

“We will try to lobby with government to improve the allocations that have been made. We will try our best,” Patel said.

The committee promised to invite Treasury Department on the issues raised.

According to Budget Document Number 5, the Judiciary has been allocated K4.831 billion for the coming financial year.

Out of that amount, K3.181 billion is for personal emoluments, K1 billion is for ORT, while K650 million is for development projects.

Last year, the Judiciary got a total budgetary allocation of K5.627 billion while ORT was pegged at 1.129 billion.

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