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The interview that is alleged to have sent Kasambara to jail Ralph Kasambara gave newspaper interview with The

Weekend Nation calling on Pres ident Bingu wa Mutharika to resign. We have reproduced the interview Ralph Kasambara did with Paida Mpaso of Weekend Nation sourced from Malawi Democrat. Why is this strike on? The strike follows grievances raised by the Judiciary staff in 2006. Early that year [2006], it was about the conditions of service and the dictates of the Cons titution. The Judiciary got into negotiations with the National Assembly [Parlia ment] and they agreed that particular terms and conditions of service were going to apply so they would increase salaries. After Parliament agreed, it was now left in the hands of the Executive arm of go vernment to implement the revised work service and not question the implementati on. The court ruled in favour of the Malawi Law Society by making two specific prono uncements: first that the National Assembly had actually determined the terms an d conditions of the Judiciary, and that the Executive branch could not question the process, and could not even question the amounts, their duty was simply to c omply because it was a constitutional requirement; secondly, the court made spec ific order which said the amounts must be as they had been said by the National Assembly, this was on September 2 2007. Now you can imagine that from September 2007 up to now, nothing has been done. T he salaries were supposed to be revised and be sorted out and the Executive bran ch led by the President has not complied. So, you can see that these are people who have been without any salary adjustment for the past five years, as per the Constitution, but they kept going to work hoping that their dues would be settle d. So, the strike is lawful? The strike is very lawful in the sense that they are refusing to render services because they have not been paid for what they have worked for. What you must un derstand is that under the Constitution, there is a fundamental right and that i s the right of fair labour practice, one of the fundamental rights on top of fai r labour practice is that the employer should pay the employee the agreed wages. So, you can imagine these are the people who have not been paid the agreed wage s for the last five years. So, what they are doing there is enforcing, promoting and protecting their funda mental right to fair labour practice which is a constitutional right. It would h ave been different if it was [something else], but this was agreed [upon] and ap proved. There you do not need to give notice, notice for what? These people are backed by the fundamental law of the land [Constitution]. They are backed by a c ourt judgement because they got an employer [the President] who is defying the c ourt order, defying the supreme law of the land, surely you have no licence to r aise any issues abut legality. Why are people concerned with this strike? From two angles. My major concern is the message the President is sending across the globe is very unfortunate. He is saying that he is above the law, he is abo ve the courts, he is above the Constitution and that he is Mr. untouchable. In s imple terms, we are not a constitutional democracy anymore as far as he is conce rned. In a constitutional democracy, leaders obey court orders, leaders obey con stitutional powers that give them powers to be in office. He is in office by vir

tue of the Constitution. So, he is negating the very office that gives him power s, so that s the concern. He is not caring about the powers but himself. What is the impact of strike on society as a whole? There are issues of the Domestic Violence Act and getting protection orders. Now our women are vulnerable since they cannot get a protection order. Most parents pay fees through court maintenance orders. The money is stuck and they cannot g et it. [Some] Innocent kids cannot go to schools [of their choice] because there is no money and are being forced to go to public schools. Those who may have loved to go through divorce are being forced to stay together . These people do not love each other but are being forced to stay together, God forbid what can happen. Why are you not sympathetic with government looking at K1.2 billion that is need ed? What stopped government from paying them in 2006 and 2007? We should not just rush to this year, what stopped them from paying them when they had money. In 2009 [President] Bingu [wa Mutharika] went on a lavish campaign in which he s pent billions of kwacha. Why could they not spend half of that money to pay the Judiciary? They [staff] are not saying pay us now; all they are saying is that t hey [government] should promise to pay by putting it in writing and paying in in stallments. What is disturbing is that the President has not said anything. One of the three arms of government has stopped operating and the President has not said anythin g about it. He has chosen to remain quiet. He has no respect for the Judiciary a nd the Constitution of the land. What should Malawians do? Malawians must understand that the person they employed as the President of thei r country and gave him the terms of condition of service as the Constitution has defiled the conditions of services. [Malawians] have three options. They should ask the President to resign. They should impeach the man and the charges are ve ry simple: disobeying a court order and refusing to pay the Judiciary according to the Constitution and the Judicial Administration Act. Both of them are impeachable offences. The President has disobeyed the National Assembly and the Judiciary. He wants to be a dictator. People must stop recognis ing him as President and his administration. These can be done by refusing to pa y tax, shunning all government functions as it will be an illegal government and any meetings called by any minister and President and where possible, they [the public] must engage in simultaneous public demonstrations to express their ange r and frustration. What can civil society, political parties do? They must publicise the plight of Malawians to all the cooperating partners of M alawi so that people can understand the problems we are going through. What have you done yourself on these matters? My job is to speak out and ensure that there are solutions. I analyse and argue.