Malawi Prison Service staffs have gone on strike to force government to harmonize the service’s salary structure with that of their colleagues in the Malawi Police Service.
The strike which started yesterday in major prisons across the country has compromised the judiciary system as prisoners convicted or remanded by the courts are not allowed in and out of the penitentiaries.
The situation has also led to congestion in police cells as the law-enforcers have no option but to keep convicted or remanded offenders in their custody.
And those who are expected to be released after serving their jail terms will have to wait a little bit longer before they walk to freedom.
Prison service officials have been elusive when contacted on the matter.
But some of the striking staff told Nyasa Times that they want similar salaries and benefits like their colleagues in the police service.
“All we want is equal pay. We are no longer taking in or releasing prisoners until our demands are addressed,” explained one of the striking staff.
The staff bemoaned that there is huge difference between salary structures of the two institutions.
This year government has faced several industrial strikes which included the judiciary staff, civil servants, primary school teachers, Admarc staff as well as Chancellor College of University of Malawi academic staff.
Government has managed to resolve the salary issues despite concerns that the public service staffs’ demands are hugely impacting on the wage bill.