Kamphinda accused of collecting money from Mutharika for Malawi strike

Some government officials have accused opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) acting president Peter Mutharika of sponsoring mass strike of civil servants through their mother body, Civil Service Trade Union (CSTU).

This follows some officials of CSTU claiming  their president Elias Kamphinda-Banda was seen going to Peter Mutharika’s house to collect money in order to continue the strike .

In an interview, Kamphinda Banda denied being “bribed” by Mutharika, saying he is leading the strike action one behalf of over 10,000 civil servants.

Government had summoned CSTU to talks on the matter on Thursday but Kamphinda Banda turned  the invitation.

Kamphinda Banda and Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) Secretary General Dennis Kalekeni confering before the march began.

Kamphinda Banda and Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) Secretary General Dennis Kalekeni confering before the march began.

Nyasa Times understands that President Banda ordered the mopping out of  MK7 billion kwacha from every vote in the national budget  including State House and Office of President and Cabinet  to get that amount to be able to offer to the Civil servants.

“It is the intention of Government to resolve amicably the on-going civil servants’ strike and in view of this Government has come up with a reasonable remuneration package as far as our economy can afford,” Principal Secretary for Human Resources, Sam Madula, told a news conference on Wednesday in Lilongwe.

He added:  “But it is the unavailability of CSTU to the talks that we are concerned with because it is delaying the whole process.”

However, Madula could not disclose the percentage of increment, saying it was up to the Union to communicate to the members after negotiations on Thursday.

Chief Secretary to Government, Bright Msaka, said Government had many options to take, should the civil servants continue with the strike despite the call from Government for them to go back to work.

Kamphinda Banda remained defiant, saying “we will not relent on our quest to have our demands effected. Those Malawians they are confusing are our relatives. So they should not think people will buy what they are telling them.”

He said as CSTU has not received any communication from government on its touted ‘offer’, arguing it should use proper procedures in addressing the salary hike demands and not confusing Malawians.

“They called me to go for a meeting on their offer but I did not go because if they are serious, they should use proper channels and reveal what package they have for us.”

Mutharika’s aide Ben Phiri said the opposition leader had no role in the civil servants strike action.

Civil servants are protesting high cost of living resulting from last May’s 49 percent devaluation of the currency, the kwacha and are demanding a 67 percent pay hike.

The government says it doesn’t have the money to meet the demands but is offereing a “reasonable” pay hike.

The strike started slowly last week but has spread with teachers joining in. Nurses have also threatened to join the strike.

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