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Judiciary dispute turns court case

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The Judiciary support staff have turned to their lawyer to vacate an injunction which the Attorney General obtained stopping them from withholding their labour from yesterday.

The workers were locked up in a meeting at the Blantyre High Court where they were addressed by their union president, Charles Lizingeni, on how they would proceed with the strike when Senior State Advocate Apoche Itimu served him with a copy of the injunction.

“On Tuesday we said we would start the strike on Wednesday because by then this injunction was just hearsay. When we were coming today [Wednesday] I was only to address the members of staff to stay away from their duties and I sent messages to all registries.

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“However, this morning, the Senior State Advocate served me with this injunction and in compliance I have advised union members to resume their duties,” Lizingeni said.

The employees, however, only resumed work after 11:30am.

However, Lizingeni said that union leaders would not rest as they have also sought legal representation to proceed with the court case which the AG has started.

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“It is disappointing that the Attorney General has opted to resolve this issue in this way. We have always been open and ready for discussions but our counterparts were not forthcoming, so I will not say much until our lawyer tells us the way forward,” he said.

It is expected that the case would be heard for an inter partes hearing on May 18.

The support staff is demanding Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe to release money for their house allowances which Parliament approved in July for them as well as judicial officers.

Only judicial officers are currently receiving the allowances.

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