Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) president, Eliah Kamphinda-Banda has ranted at governing Peoples Party (PP) officials, Kamlepo Kalua and RevMalani Mtonga accusing them of ‘politicizing’ recent 61 percent civil servants’ pay rise.
Kamphinda Banda has since asked the two to apologize for giving government especially President Joyce Banda credit for endorsing the pay increment despite demonstrations by the civil service workers including school pupils.
But the outspoken Kalua, who recently joined PP, has stood by his words and asked Kamphinda Banda to apologize instead. arguing whatever he said is justifiable.
“It’s surprising that Mr. Kamlepo and Mtonga are praising government for the salary increment, calling it a listening government. They should understand we had to demonstrate for them to give in to our demands. It’s the civil servants who deserve that credit because they accepted the offer,” Kamphinda Banda said in an interview.
The CSTU boss has since warned that civil servants’ strikes are far from over and that government will face a backlash and a resurgence of sit-ins if the salary increment is not effected as agreed.
“Don’t think the demonstrations are over. We are patiently waiting for them to implement our proposals and come May if nothing is done, we will resume our sit-ins and mark my word on that one, we are not done yet”.
But in separate interview Kalua justified his statements, saying President Banda deserves credit for listening to the civil servants’ demands being a female leader.
“What is there for me to apologize? Because I said it is President Banda who is first Head of State to effect 61 percent salary increment for civil servants, and then I have to apologize, I can’t.
“For the past 49 years no government has given civil servants such pay rise. Between the one asking for increment and the one who endorsed such pay hike; who deserves a credit?” queried Kalua.
He added: “I was complementing both sides and I even urged the president to have an audience with the civil servants because it is obvious these people have some concerns that government has to take note of and address. I will ask Mr. Kamphinda Banda to apologize instead and not me”.
In recent presidential rallies, Kalua and Mtonga have been praising President Banda while describing PP administration as listening government for endorsing the 61 percent increment.
Last month civil servants had to go on two-weeks indefinite sit-in demanding 65 percent pay rise following the devaluation and flotation of Kwacha last year resulting in high cost of living.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :