Malawi civil servants have resolved to embark on a full-scale strike, saying they have been provoked by government’s move to ambush them in announcing that the planned stay-away against poor salaries has been called off.
On Monday a media statement was released purportedly jointly written by the leadership of the Civil Service Trade Union (CSTU) and the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) which said the stay-away had been called off.
However, CSTU president Elia Kamphinda-Banda disowned the statement, arguing there was never a time the two parties met and agreed to call off the stay-away scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.
Chairperson of the GNT Dr MacPhail Magwira, who is also one of principal secretaries in the Ministry Education, Science and Technology, said in an interview that Kamphinda Banda and Kalichero met him Monday morning and analysed developments that have happened since last Thursday’s meeting.
But Kamphinda Banda said Magwira only asked the CSTU leadership to call off the stay-away.
CSTU president said the public servants have been provoked and will meet to map out the modalities of the full-scale strike if government fails to address their demands.
Kamphinda said the civil servants will not relent in their demands for good working conditions and salaries that are in sync with the economic hardships.
He however the union has asked all medical staff not to participate in the strike to avoid loss of patient lives due to the nature of their job. The security services have also been urged to continue working in protest.
Malawi Minister of Information Moses Kunkuyu said government did not have the resources to meet the workers’ pay hike demands.
But Dr. McPhail Magwira, Chairman of Government Negotiating Team said in a statement government “remains committed to improving their welfare within a sustainable national framework, to ensure that Civil Servants deliver services efficiently and effectively for the benefit of all Malawi and for the socio-economic development of the country.”