Civil servants in Malawi have started legal procedures to enable them to join the striking Judiciary support staff in solidarity.
The public servants, through their Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU), are arguing government has shown disregard for the welfare of their colleagues in the public service.
CSTU president Elia Kamphinda Banda confirmed the development in an interview last evening after meeting representatives of striking court workers at the Lilongwe High Court Registry.
He said operations in the public service are being negatively affected by the continued closure of courts.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“All we want is for the courts to open. We want someone to take responsibility and realise that the matter of striking workers is the constitutional one and we cannot effectively operate with one branch of government shut down. We will join in solidarity,” said Kamphinda Banda.
He said the absence of court services has adverse consequences on the other two branches of governmentÃ¢â‚¬â€the Executive and the LegislatureÃ¢â‚¬â€as some decisions and operations have already been postponed; thereby affecting the welfare of public service workers at large.
Said Kamphinda Banda:Ã‚Â “We have left the matter in the hands of the legal counsellors. They will take us through the process. We are now informing our structures from district of the same position that we will join the strike in solidarity with our colleagues.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Malawi Law Society (MLS) already staged solidarity marches and threatened to galvanise mass demonstrations whereas High Court and Supreme Court Judges had given government up to today to take action or they will join the strike.
The strike has brought the justice delivery system to a halt, with thousands of people seeking justice being affected.
The support staff went on strike on January 9 2012, demanding implementation of their conditions of service, including salaries, approved by Parliament in 2006.