The Malawi Law Society (MLS) on Sunday said it sees no end in sight to the Judiciary strike which has paralysed the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s justice delivery system for six weeks now.
MLS president John-Gift Mwakhwawa said in an interview lawyers are yet to be briefed on the outcome of last ThursdayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s planned meeting between government and the Judiciary.
Said Mwakhwawa: Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have not been included in any of the meetings that have been taking place because the issue is between the Judiciary and the Executive. As stakeholders, we are interested in its quick resolution because we represent the public.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“What is at stake in not just our right to economic activity, but the suspension of peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rights. It also compromises the independence and impartiality of the Judiciary if it is literally going to beg for an increment.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Lawyers gave government up to last Thursday to resolve the Judiciary support staff grievances or face unspecified action which may take any form, including a demonstration.
Mwakhwawa, however, refused to give details of their plan at the expiry of the ultimatum.
He said MLS would wait for the outcome of the meeting last week before they could map the way forward.
Spokesperson for the striking Judiciary support staff, Austin Kamanga, said he was neither aware of any meeting last week nor its outcome. He said in the absence of information, the strike would go on.
Judges and magistrates also threatened to join the strike if they did not get a convincing response from government by the same Thursday.
Solicitor General and Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Justice Anthony Kamanga is on record as having said that government agreed with the Judiciary task force that government would provide a response on matters raised previously on the said Thursday.
And on Sunday, Kamanga said the Judiciary has information on what it has been discussing with government and that he did not want to prejudice it.
Said Kamanga: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Let us not play cat and mouse here. We have to be sensitive and respect the structures that have been put in place. The Judiciary has a committee that is in dialogue with government. It is that committee that should give informationÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Meanwhile, Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) wants to join the strike because Ã¢â‚¬Å“government has shown disregard for the welfare of their colleagues in the public serviceÃ¢â‚¬Â.
CSTU president Elia Kamphinda Banda said on Sunday that it was unrealistic to run government with two arms.