Pressure is building on the government of President Joyce Banda as medical doctors on Thursday announced they have joined the public workers strike.
In a news statement issued the doctors’ union president Dr Jerome Nkambule, the doctors said they will only maintain skeleton staff to deal with emergency cases in different public hospital across the country which are already short of health workers and medicine.
“We the medical doctors in government fully support the action that our fellow civil servants have taken…hence our decision to participate fully in the action,” said Dr Nkambule said.
Doctors said they will resume their normal duties once the demands by the Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) have been fully met.
Eliah Kamphinda Banda, president of CSTU, said:”Government has not answered us yet so we can’t tell how long the strike will last.”
Meanwhile, President Joyce Banda left the country on Thursday of Chileka International Airport Thursday morning to attend the Africa—South America Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
She told reporters that her government had made ‘an offer’ to the civil servants.
But Finance Minister Ken Lipenga said Tuesday government could not afford the 67 per cent pay hike the public workers were demanding.
The civil servants say last May’s 49 per cent devaluation of the Malawi currency, the kwacha, has eaten deep into their buying power.