Written by THECHIEF MOURNER
The statement that has just been issued by the Government Negotiating Team reaching out to the striking civil servants to come to the negotiating tables passes for another testament that in place is a government that would win an Oscar in the category of comedy.
Just two things:
1. It claims government has offered a package to civil servants rhyming with the prevailing economic conditions. If this is not child's play, what is? Where on earth do you invite someone to the negotiating table to discuss an offer that has not been specified? The civil servants have been very specific; they want their pay to be hiked by 67 percent. They did not just pluck this percentage from the sky. They have a premise. It is called the prevailing economic conditions. Why is government not being specific? What kind of a government is this that does not even know what it is offering? Is it 10 percent, 20 percent, 40 percent? You make a blanket offer and you want someone to be attracted to the negotiating table? To use the prevailing economic conditions as a determinant for considering pay will and can only be acceptable if it is being approached from the side of the fence where many people are hurting. We hope this is the sense in which the argument is being profferred. Otherwise to use the economic conditions as a deterrent for stifling pay rise demands with the aim of perpetuating greed by a few will and can only be repugnant and offensive.
2. The statement urges the civil servants negotiating team to approach the invitation for dialogue with the seriousness it deserves.
For starters, does this invitation generate any seriousness? Is this how an invitation deserving any measure of seriousness is crafted and made? Until government manages to locate the meaning of seriousness in its conventional sense, this invitation only remains another piece of junk mooted by minds acted under the boiling heat of desparation.
Just where does this team or the smith of the statement find the moral presence of courage to begin to raise issues of seriousness? Who has not been serious? Did this government or its team have to wait for seven days to see the need and importance of negotiating? When a call for negotiations has to come on the eve of a planned march to the Office of the President and Cabinet, does that show a government that knows the face of seriousness?
The fact of the matter is that the lack of seriousness by the President herself has had a sickening trickle down effect to everyone around her. This is the reason the statement has all the traces of mandasi wisdom all over it. How could a serious President have been using divide and rule strategies to solve the industrial action - run away from Capital Hill to Blantyre and invite nursing staff for dialogue on their problems, yet the civil servants at capital hill downed their tools last week for the same problems that have affected everyone, except Joyce Banda, her family and maybe her sycophants