Written by PIUS NYONDO
MZUZU--Government is accused of playing a role in the cancellation of a planned two-day civil service strike which was scheduled to start on Monday, MaraPost understands.
Meanwhile, some members of the civil service have speculated foul play on part of government and have since accused their leaders of betrayal.
"The whole thing [strike] was well organised but we've been surprised that it has been called off without any good explanation," said a Mzuzu based civil servant who works for the Ministry of Education.
According to reports, government issued a statement, allegedly signed by chairperson of Government Negotiating Team (GNT) Mcphail Magwira and Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) president Eliah Kamphinda, calling off the two-day strike, claiming that the union leaders were ready for talks.
But CSTU has disputed government's claim insisting the statement was "made unilaterally."
Kamphinda, who also claims government is playing tricks with civil servants, admitted that a meeting with government really took place but said no decision was made to issue a statement.
Nevertheless, civil servants went to Capital Hill – the seat of government business - on the second day of their work boycott pressing for an increment and harmonization of perks.
The police moved in quickly to quell the tension but the workers vowed to continue boycotting work until their grievances are met.
The workers further said they were angered with a press statement from government "lying" that the two parties had reached a compromise and that the stay-away had been cancelled.
Malawi civil servants resolved to embark on a full-scale strike, to express their dissatisfaction on the poor salaries they get, which they say, haven't been able to keep them up since Pres Joyce made the decision to devalue the Kwacha last year. Last January, Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) also held nationwide demonstrations protesting the soaring cost of living.
(c) The Maravi Post 2013