Magistrates in the country plan to form a grouping called Association of Magistrates in Malawi (AMA), which is aimed at promoting their interests.
The magistrates have so far drafted the constitution and will launch the organisation before the end of this year, according to spokesperson Kondani Chinangwa.
“We are also planning to send five magistrates to Zimbabwe for a week to learn how our friends operate,” said Chinangwa in an interview on Thursday.
There is already Judges and Magistrates Association but Chinangwa said the problems affected by magistrates will be looked into better if they have a separate association.
According to the magistrate, there are a number of things that they want government to look into. Among them are salaries, housing, mobility and security.
On salaries, Chinangwa pointed out that there is a big gap between magistrates and judges although the magistrates handle about 95 percent of the cases.
“Again, how do you expect a magistrate who is receiving a monthly salary of K70 000 to professionally handle a case involving K150 million. He has to pay for three months’ rent, fees for children, food as well as support relatives. Can they not be tempted to get the money from the suspect and pay for his needs?” asked the magistrate.
He also expressed concern that magistrates have to look for houses that are cheaper according to what they earn.