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Judiciary staff return to work

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Victor Mhango

Courts resumed operations Monday after the Malawi Judiciary Union called off the strike which started last week.

A visit to Judiciary offices and court premises in Lilongwe showed that suspects were taken to courts for trial proceedings.

The union’s spokesperson Andy Haliwa said the strike was called off after they reached a compromise with the Ministry of Finance over their demands for improved conditions of service.

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Among other things, members of staff want salary and allowance increments.

“We had a meeting with the Minister of Finance Sosten Gwengwe last week in Lilongwe, where we resolved matters. We reached a resolution that the government should make a commitment that they have heard about our grievances and that possible implementation will be done in the next budget,” he said.

Haliwa said Gwengwe indicated that their demands were not factored in the current budget, hence the need for them to wait for the next financial year.

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“We signed a memorandum of understanding on the same and that’s why we have called off our industrial strike,” he said.

Meanwhile, Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance Executive Director Victor Mhango has said the strike affected many stakeholders negatively.

Mhango, however, said the resumption of operations will offload holding cells in police stations and prisons.

“When it comes to the Judiciary giving dates, sometimes the process takes time. This means dates for all the cases that were adjourned because of the strike are going to be reset. We don’t know if it could be next year,” he said.

The strike commenced on December 12 2022, paralysing operations of courts as protesters blocked lawyers, police and others from accessing court premises.

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