Opposition People Party (PP) spokesman Ken Msonda has described a wave of industrial strikes rocking Malawi as a sign of failed administration.
Speaking during a Point Blank a one-on one interview program on the privately owned Times Television on Wednesday, Msonda said the problem rocking Malawi could have solved a long time ago should the government was organized enough and ready to address the concerns of Malawians.
“There is no point of sealing off Anti- Corruption Bureau Offices, the Judiciary because of the strikes instead of addressing the concerned of people. Let’s assume the police were also on strike, would the government also have sealed off the police offices?”
He said although the issue of salaries harmonization is a good development Msonda said the government missed out because it did not consult the stakeholders in the first place.
“The staff workers at the judiciary are under Judicial Service Commission, workers at University are under University Council. So the government would have first consulted these bodies on t salary harmonization not just working up one day telling the workers that we are not increasing salaries because of harmonization. That’s not the way it is supposed to be done,” he said.
Economic problems facing Malawi have resulted in strikes by various government workers demanding higher pay. For example, support staff for the judiciary has been on strike for over six weeks, seeking a 45 percent pay increase which the government says it cannot afford.
Workers at Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau went on strike demanding a 70 percent pay raise until the government sealed off their offices and threatened to forfeit their December salaries if they did not return.
Meanwhile, the support staff in the Judiciary have vowed not to return to work come January 5 2015 unless there is a positive response from the Executive on the implementation of their conditions of service as approved in 2012.
In his legal opinion addressed to the Chief Secretary to the Government George Mkondiwa dated December 19, 2014, Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale proposed to the government to write the staff and those intending to go on strike to resume work by a set date pending reference of the issue back to Parliament for judges and magistrates and Minister of Finance for support staff.
However, law professor at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Danwood Chirwa, has described proposals as outlined in Kaphale’s opinion as illegal because asking the Executive not to effect conditions of service as approved by Parliament was tantamount to usurping powers of that particular arm of government.
Prof Chirwa also said the Executive had no mandate to discipline the support staff because they are hired and fired by the Judicial Service Commission which was established by the Judicature Adminstration Act.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :