Barely one week after government agreed to increase salaries for civil servants, judges have also pushed in their demands for a better retirement package and other perks. Both Attorney General Anthony Kamanga and Secretary to the Treasury Radson Mwadiwa confirmed on Thursday that the Judiciary has pushed new proposals on their perks.
Said Kamanga: “I just know that the Judiciary presented their proposals to the Public Appointments Committee and so far, I know that Parliament is conferring with Treasury.”
Mwadiwa said the matter has been referred to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) but he too could not disclose the details.
He said: “We were asked to make our views which we have submitted to OPC. My understanding is that the discussion is on other perks other than salaries…”
Conditions of Service for judges stipulate that their salaries and perks be reviewed every three years.
The last review undertaken was in 2009 when the Judiciary funded an emergency PAC meeting just before its dissolution to approve perks they had proposed for themselves.
Among other demands, the judges want the recent civil servants salary increment extended to them.
They also want government to consider adjusting upwards their fuel and subsistence allowances and an improved retirement package for them.
Currently, the Chief Justice receives slightly over K1 million (over $2 777) per month after it was reviewed in 2009 from K1 million. Judges of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal get K782 000 (about $2 172) from K582 000 (about $1 616) in 2009.
The judges’ demands come at the centre of a perks demand by another branch of government—Parliament—where legislators are pushing Capital Hill to implement fuel allowances of 500 litres a month as agreed in 2008. They want the amount to paid in arrears dating back to 2009 and could see one parliamentarian carting home an estimated K10 million (about $27 777) backdated payment by some estimates.
The judges’ push for increased perks comes after civil servants last week successfully pushed government to give them a 61 percent pay hike following a 10-day strike.