Malawi government bows to Judiciary threat


Malawi government has hiked the judicial officers’ salaries by an average of 22 percent two weeks after the magistrates threatened to go on strike over poor remuneration.

The judicial officers include Justices of Supreme Court of Appeal, High Court Judges, Registrars, the Magistrates and officers at the Industrial Relations Court.

In a petition sent to Mutharika last month, the magistrates gave the government a seven-day ultimatum to provide a solution to what they said are poor remuneration and benefits with a threat that they would withdraw their labour.


But the Chief Justice, Andrew Nyirenda, diffused the tension after meeting the representatives of the magistrates with an assurance that their grievances would be sorted out with urgency.

Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula confirmed the development saying the Chief Secretary to the government, George Mkondiwa, has already sent a circular to the High Court Registrar.

Ironically, the accepted 22 percent is the figure which the government has been offering but judicial officers initially rejected it, demanding an increment that corresponds with an average of 45 percent that mainstream civil servants received.


Mvula said the judicial officers have decided to accept the 22 percent on “humanitarian grounds” but insisted that negotiations with the National Assembly for a higher percentage increase will continue.

“Indeed the government has offered a 22 percent to the judicial officers. Of course, that percentage was turned down earlier but now we have accepted it and we will continue with the negotiations. We have got that human heart and that’s why we have accepted that percentage. As you are aware, about two weeks ago, magistrates across the country threatened to go on strike but we said no because we knew that the strike would hurt the poor,” Mvula said.

Meanwhile, Mvula said the Treasury has also released the money for the Judiciary to replace the judges’ vehicles which clocked 150 000 kilometres as stipulated in their Terms and Conditions of Service.

For seven weeks, between November last year and January this year, the justice system in the country was paralysed when the judicial support staff went on strike demanding an increment of 45 percent.

They resumed working after accepting an increment of 22 percent.

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