Parliament staff goes on strike: Malawi MPs meeting for mid-year budget review

Just as Malawi’s legislators were about to go into day two of their mid-term budget review meeting, the country’s parliamentary staff decided to keep their threats a reality and started an indefinite industrial strike with an ultimatum that they will only go back to their offices once their grievances are sorted out.

Staff carry placards

Staff carry placards.-Photo by Akfred Chauwa, Nyasa Times

Palriamentray staff staged strike protest by playing football

Palriamentray staff staged strike protest by playing football.-Photo by Alfred Chauwa, Nyasa Times

Parliament secretariat staff have argued that five percent increase would be swallowed up by taxes and the ever-increasing cost of living and rejected 18 % offer by government as they demand 24% above

Parliament secretariat staff have argued that five percent increase would be swallowed up by taxes and the ever-increasing cost of living and rejected 18 % offer by government as they demand 24% above.-Photo by Alfred Chuwa, Nyasa Times

The parliamentary staff has been fighting government over a decision to cut off their supposed annual increment to almost 9% from 24% in a drive that is intended to harmonise civil service salaries.

Parliamentary staff are among the highly paid in the country and when government made a 24% increment for its entire staff it decided to slash the percentages for those regarded as well off so that they should be at par with low paid sectors.

There was drama at parliament Tuesday morning as the staff instead of going to their posts they resorted to playing football, having drinks and listening and dancing to loud music outside the parliament building in the capital Lilongwe.

Most of them dressed in red carried placards which expressed their anger with one of the placard reading “Tapilira kokwanira” (We have persevered enough).

The House is traditionally presided over by the Speaker or one of his deputies and these officials are ushered into the chamber by a Sergeant At Arms and normally start morning business at 9.30.

However, by that time all the Speakers and the Clerk of Parliament, the most senior parliamentary staff, were still in their offices while the Sergeant At Arms was seen playing soccer with fellow members of staff.

Some members of support staff were also playing football.

Chairperson of the Parliament Staff Union Leonard Tilingamawa said: “We have been discussing with the government for a long time, but without success.”

One of the support staff told Nyasa Times:” Government approved K24 million loans for parliament and just recently, we have seen members of parliament, clerk of parliament, Speaker and his deputies getting hefty increment, so what’s wrong with us,”

Parliamentary Public Relation Officer Lenard Mengezi said Parliamentary Service Commission which is guided by the Parliamentary Service Act already approved the 24 percent hike but the executive has not been implementing the hike.

As Nyasa Times reporters were at the parliament building, several members of parliament were just looking on what was going on with many conspicuously surprised.

Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya confirmed that the strike will affect the agenda in the parliament which resumed Monday for mid-year budget review.

Msowoya urged the executive who controls the purse to come in quickly and resolve the strike.

“We are doing everything possible to the resolve the strike alongside the executive. W e are hoping the issue will be resolved,” said Msowoya.

According to the schedule for mid-term budget review meeting, the government has lined up seven bills including the minimum marriage age and human trafficking bills, a ministerial statement on the disasters which have hit most parts of the country and a mid-year budget review statement scheduled for Friday, February. —Additional reporting by Alfred Chauwa, Nyasa Times

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24 thoughts on “Parliament staff goes on strike: Malawi MPs meeting for mid-year budget review”

  1. Mu umodzi muli mphavu says:

    Zopusa basi, achotseni, ntchito mulembe ena .kwachuluka mahule kumeneko.

  2. mmalawi weniweni says:

    Zopusa! Idislike stupid DDP. Inu poyipatsa mpando DDP yanu m’maganiza zizasintha? Fisi ndi fisi basi angamile m’madzi sadzasintha kukhala ng’ona.

  3. Zachisoni Phiri says:

    Za ziii

  4. pina says:

    Akupanga strike panopa popeza mwalowa ndalama za donation for floods akufuna adye ndiwo osati anthu akuzutikawo. Yet mukugona pouma, tea daily wamkaka, myama daily pa table, osanganiza za anthu akufa ndi madzi wo…

  5. Malapwalapwa says:

    Tangolembani ena basi,malovatu ife tilipotu ambiri kwabasi.

  6. Amachita strike anzanu akulira maliro a ma floolds mulibe manyazi osadikira kaye tilire kaye bwanji?

    1. pina says:

      Anthuwa ndi agalu……

  7. Ramsey Majiga says:

    Ingowachotsani ntchito basi ” Just fire them all” nothing else.

  8. Wachangu says:

    Zamkutu

  9. kadyakolo says:

    apatseni antchitowo maright awo kodi zimakoma kubera mavoti basi uchenjere mpando wakowo upita kwa tupele unangothandizira kubera mavoti ndinena iweyo chilima galu wachabe chabe

  10. MAYO MALAWI LERO PARLIAMENT, MUMAWA .PANOPA MAZURO ANO KU MONKEY-BAY MANGOCHI ZINANSO ZILIKOKO, POLICE MKATI KU ICEAD. MUZAMVA PA ZODIAK.

    MAYO MALAWI, DZIKO LIKUPITA KUTI, MR. PRESIDENT PLEASE CARE THE CITIZENS OF MALAWI AND GRATE THEM GOOD FREEDOM TO STAY IN THE COUNTRY.

    MR PRESIDENT MPS, MINISTERS, CHIEF, DIRECTORS, ADVISORS AND SOME MEMBERS ARE CORRUPTED.

  11. Chemtukanika says:

    Reserved.

  12. Matapwata says:

    Chi TUM and CSTU kaya zili kuti kaya.We need harmonisation of salaries tulo basi kolololoooo your friends who receives more are on strike and you??????? mwadya banzi chani….we r ready for bigger than this please

  13. Detective says:

    Slap them we all human being

  14. Patriot says:

    ASOVENGE kkkkkk

  15. mtumbuka says:

    just fire them all! idiots!

  16. Hebrews says:

    Kale kuli Bingu amangotseka parliament yo basi aliyense kwawo kwao! We have better things to do. Infact cashgate started at Parliament!

  17. g. kwanje says:

    mukuti ndi ufulu wawo… chabwino.. koma m’mene mumawavotera mumati adzikachta zimenezo ku arliament??. ndi anthu oti akulandira kale ndalama dza mbiri, pomwe amene anawasankhawo, akulephera ndi phala lome mwinanso ali mgulu la okhudzidwa ndi madzi oserfukira.. plz a malawii..

  18. We have become so childish and selfish in Malawi such that we do not want the country to move forward. sacrifices are part of moving Malawi forward. You are already highly paid and what the government was doing was to uplift those who are very marginalized so that the gaps should not be so wide. Why is this becoming so difficult to understand? As long as we want to have few people with far better perks than the majority we shall never develop as a nation. Selfish interests should be minimized for the sake of the nation. Am angry at the striking parliamentary staff.

  19. Zachilendo, mwayambisa nokha ifeso tili mmbuyo bola musazatiletse ma stlaka athu

  20. Rambos says:

    When it rains it never stop, its your right. U deserve it

  21. Isaac chagwa mzuzu says:

    I feel it is their right to do so but this should not immediately affect an innocent Malawian just because budget is still being discussed.I hope this will not be prolonged again since it is a key area where urgent reaction is the only way out.I dont think someone will take advantage of the situation to insult leaders instead of understanding staff’s issue at hand.Malawi is really developing politically coz I have never seen the devil using someone to insult but only formal criticisms.

  22. milimbo says:

    Tiye nazoni

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