Divisions rock Teachers Union of Malawi: Strike is still on, says TUM president

Teachers’ Union of Malawi (TUM) secretary general Azeez Lisa and vice co-chairperson Alinafe Banda are leading a group of concerned teachers who have asked for the immediate resignation of TUM vice president Rehema Harid and other five executive members  for announcing that teachers’ strike has been suspended  following talks it had with the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19.

Some members of the TUM  want the strike called off the strike

Harid and his colleagues announced at a news conference in Lilongwe this week that the strike staged by the teachers was suspended after negotiations with government.

But Losa’s group has distanced itself from Harid’s announcement , saying it is only TUM president Willie Malimba who can tell teachers to resume work.

Losa has threatened in a statement dated  24 February 2021 that f the executive members do not resign, teachers will conduct national wide demonstrations and close TUM offices. They will also hold vigil at the homes of the executive members whom they say have disgraced and betrayed all other teachers by making an announcement to suspend the stay away.

According to the statement, those demanded to resign include Harid himself, Ernest Chirwa (TUM Treasurer General), Elestina Chizungu (Secondary representative), David Kalirani (Special Needs Education representative) ,Elton Chauluka (Vice Treasurer General ) and Newton Chafukira (Central West Education Division Governor).

“We believe that these people who betrayed teachers will resign today because they have failed us,” reads the statement signed by Lossa and Banda.

The statement is also backed by Emily Lirani, central region representative; Evance Mpanda, southern region representative; Fyness Kumwenda, northern region representative and Oscar M’banga eastern region representative.

“We concerned teachers of Malawi would like to distance ourselves from the so called concerned teachers who had a press briefing in Lilongwe on 23rd February , 2021. We don’t know them and we are not happy with what they did,” reads the statement.

The teachers have vowed not to report to work until government pays attention to their demand. The teachers are demanding risk allowance in the wake of Covid-19.

TUM president Malimba insisted in an interview that the strike was still on, saying the group had not resolved the matter.

“I didn’t endorse the cancellation of the strike. TUM constitution mandates only the president and secretary general to call for or call off a strike,” he said/

He admitted that the union leadership  which also met President Lazarus Chakwera on the matter, is divided, adding the matter could have been resolved using proper procedures.

“We are being told that teachers don’t deserve risk allowances but should be the first to receive vaccines. What does that mean? People should wait for the President to sign such a statement,” said Malimba.

Minister of Education Agnes NyaLonje announced in Parliament on Wednesday that the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 had rejected the demands for teachers’ risk allowances, fearing giving in will open a pandora’s box of other civil servants demanding the same.

She added that the teachers will, however, be considered as a priority in the Covid-19 vaccine which the country will roll out in March targeting health workers first.

Meanwhile, the Malawi government says it has disbursed funds to all schools across the country for the procurement of PPEs and, according to the Education Minister, over 3,200 additional teachers have been recruited to ease the teacher to pupil ratio.

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Concerned citizen
Concerned citizen
1 month ago

This is really injustice and why killing the future of these innocent learners?You have been paid your salaries for seven months without working for it so what a? Continue with your strike and we will organise ours.

Clara
Clara
1 month ago

Its all about fairness, personally I feel teachers deserve risk allowances. WHY ? I am a health worker, I receive risk allowance which is added to my salary. Every time I see patients in Isolation ward I get full DSA on daily basis according to my grade. This is in addition to the risk allowances. Every time we conduct contact tracing in households we get allowances. Every time we do screening of patients at the entrance we get allowances. FOR TEACHERS: 1. They interact with learners who are usually asymptomatic even when they are +ve. This is a risk on… Read more »

Justice for all
Justice for all
1 month ago

I see others got something and others left out selfish pls pay all bcoz u started already everyone should get paid

Atokwene
Atokwene
1 month ago

Teachers are at high risk. Let the minister Herself make a surprise visit to any school and she will appreciate teachers requests and demands for risk allowance. Don’t just speak form your office at capital hill. Pay them even 10,000 per month for them will be sufficient

Jah
Jah
1 month ago

Don’t be fooled kuti school kids will follow public opinion to them teachers are number one parents just try muone mmene ana avutile

Jah
Jah
1 month ago

Teachers are united regardless of political affliation and its not new. Enawo adya bans but remember Teachers across sanadye nawo and adikila what the tum president will say

Christian Lingwe
Christian Lingwe
1 month ago

Mutati muone apopo, ndi achewa kupanga back boma. Nangasi mtsogoleri wawo ndi mchewa. People fail to see beyond tribal lines. I support the continuation of the stay away. Let the plight of teachers be taken into account.

Kambewa ngozo
1 month ago

FOSEKI
You are the one who is failing Malawi. Teachers get in contact with people Ana a school. Teachers don’t go on front line like Medical staff and as such there is no need for them to get covid19 allowance. If you give them covid19 allowance then all civil servants including the police should get the allowance.
That would disaster.

Trump
Trump
1 month ago
Reply to  Kambewa ngozo

ARE police not getting already?

guest
guest
1 month ago

amangoyenera kugawana zida kumene, enawo ndimacadet enawo ndi a Tonse

Kokolikos
Kokolikos
1 month ago
Reply to  guest

Enawo ndimacadet enawo ndi kokolikos

Kanyimbi
Kanyimbi
1 month ago

It seems these TUM officials have mismanaged COVID funds and they want to hide behind the strike. What about if the students also decide to demand their right to education and go house by house ” collecting” the useless teachers? Whom can we fear? The teachers or the students? By the way you teacher are also a risk to the students.

Jah
Jah
1 month ago
Reply to  Kanyimbi

ine sinditukwana koma panyo pamako ndithu

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