10:35 pm - Wednesday 19 September 2018

Civil servants strike poorly organised

By Amalawi - Tue Feb 12, 11:47 am

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Malawi: Confusion marked the planned two-day civil servants’ strike in Malawi as it was business as usual for most of the government offices. The majority of civil servants went to work  and are offering the usual services to the public.

Notable government departments that did not heed the call to stay away from work included the Immigration, Road Traffic Directorate (RTD), Administrator General’s offices and Ministry of Information and Civic Education.

 

But CSTU president Elia Kamphinda Banda said Immigration and RTD staff can never join a strike for security reasons, arguing they offer essential services.

An employee at one of the  offices, who opted for anonymity, attributed the failure by the civil servants in Blantyre to stay away to poor communication.

Civil Servant strike

Civil Servant strike

Said the employee: “The CSTU was busy making noise in the media, but did very little on the ground in as far as communication is concerned. What we saw was just a poster on the noticeboard from the union, advising us to stay away from work.”The poster advised the civil servants to stay away from work on February 11 and 12, and warned that should government fail to respond positively, a full-fledged strike is set to start from February 17.

 

But CSTU secretary general Pontius Kalichero dismissed accusations of poor communication. He said the union sent notices about the stay-away to all government offices. He said most civil servants did not understand details of the notices.

He said the union has asked all medical staff not to participate in the strike to avoid loss of patient lives due to the nature of their job.

While the civil servants were still in a state of confusion on whether to stay away, government issued a statement announcing cancellation of the strike.

 

But Kamphinda Banda said the press statement was tantamount to “provocation” by the GNT, arguing there was never a time the two parties met and agreed to call off the stay-away scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

Chairperson of the GNT Dr MacPhail Magwira, who is also one of principal secretaries in the Ministry Education, Science and Technology, said in an interview that Kamphinda Banda and Kalichero met him Monday morning and analysed developments that have happened since last Thursday’s meeting.

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