Malawi President Peter Mutharika has made a passionate plea to Parliament support staff strike who started a strike despite offer of 18 % salary increase by government, should return to work and continue with discussions with government.
The strike which started Tuesday at the Parliament Building in the capital, Lilongwe, has derailed a mid-year budget review which will also review the current response to the floods situation that has affected more than half the southern African country.
President Mutharika told a news conference that government was offering to Parliament staff “equal pay for equal work.”
He said in the government’s offer, “the Clerk of Parliament for example will get a pay as Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Information or Ministry of Defence.”
Mutharika added: “I sent a message to the Speaker that it will be a good idea to go back to work and continue with the discussions.”
Parliamentary workers’ representative Leonard Tilingamawa said the Parliament Service Commission proposed a 24 per cent salary review for them which government rejected as manifestly inadequate as “the cost of living is rising daily.”
Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya sait it was “impossible” for the crucial session to continue with staff strike.
“We need stenographers, Hansard reporters, clerks, messengers,” said Speaker, who said MPs are likely going to be sent back home.
According to the schedule for mid-term budget review meeting, the government has lined up seven bills including the minimum marriage age and human trafficking bills, a ministerial statement on the disasters which have hit most parts of the country and a mid-year budget review statement scheduled for Friday, February.