As civil servants strike takes center stage in Malawi, police released bullets and tear gas to disperse the irate workers who had gathered at the Capital Hill in Lilongwe on Monday.
The strike was peaceful but police descended on the strikers at the premises of the ministry of justice and constitutional affairs, which have been named the ‘Freedom Park’ .
One civil servant claimed on a local radio that he was shot in the leg but thanks that he was not seriously wounded. He was bandaged later.
The employee said he overheard the armed police saying that they were to deal with the strikers.
Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) president Eliah Kamphinda Banda described the conduct of police officers as “provocative.”
Kamphinda-Banda said the public servants have been clustering at the premises “peacefully.”
Nurses and midwives from across the country also joined the strike. Sources said the nurses wrote the Ministry of Health informing them of their joining of the strike.
Several nurses from various districts like Nkhotakota, Salima and Chikhwawa confirmed joining the strike.
The nurses joined the strike saying cannot wait for the expiry of the 14-day ultimatum National Organization of Nurses and Midwives (NONM) gave government to join the strike.
NONM gave government a 14 day ultimatum from last Tuesday to respond to their concerns or else heath workers will join the on-going civil servants strike in the next two weeks.
The health workers at the public health facility argue that they were employed by government not NONM, which among others, advocates and advance the interests of nurses.
President Joyce Banda visited Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital on Monday morning to make donations to patients in an effort to abort a strike at the referral hospital according to one official.
In Blantyre, civil servants who converged at government offices vowed to continue the strike until government bows down to their demand.
Teachers in the lakeshore district of Nkhotakota have also joined the bandwagon vowing no retreat until government addresses their grievances.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :