Islamic Commission for Justice and Freedom through its spokesman Yusuf Yaasi has called upon President Peter Mutharika to urgently intervene on the ongoing strikes in the country.
From courtroom staff on strike for the past five months to primary school teachers boycotting classes to obtain salaries not paid for the past six months, labour militancy appears to be on the rise. Last week, supporting staff of the University of Malawi launched a sit in to demand a 45 percent salary hike.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau is also seeing a job action over wages while the Bureau chief says the office has been underfunded for investigations into the Cashgate scandal that brought down former president Joyce Banda.
Amidst the walkouts and slowdowns, huge pay raises recently sailed through parliament for ministers and lawmakers, doubling salaries from $1,150 to $3,000 monthly—or 168 percent plus fuel and housing allowances. Deputy Ministers’ salaries were doubled as were those of the 193 lawmakers who comprise the Malawi parliament. They also receive 1,000 litres per month in fuel allowance.
Ironically, in August the President rejected a salary hike for ministers calling them “unethical. “
In a statement made available to Nyasa Times, the Islamic Commission said: “If left unsolved the country is likely to plunge into anarchy rendering development unattainable.”
The commission says it is condemning the tendency of intervening in cases which are in the courts, saying this always jeopardize the court process which eventually affects the court rulings.
“The commission is asking the government to act professionally by not intervening in any way in cash gate issue which we believe is only being handled by Anti-Corruption Bureau, the police and the court.”
The commission it is however very much worried with the government intervention in the cash gate case.
“We could see last time in the Lutepo claims and now we heard that government has surrendered CCTV footage to the ACB. Now our question is “Did the ACB asked this information from government? If yes who is supposed to handover the footed, is it the Government? The court? Or the police? The answer still remains unknown.”
The Commission has also asked Parliamentarians to forgo the salary increment if their responsibility is really to serve the interests of their respective constituents.
“The commission is further asking leader of opposition [Lazarous Chakwera] to voluntarily reject the new salary adjustment as one way of showing passion to the people of this Nation,” reads the statement by Yaasi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :