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Salary increments for public servants on strike suicidal to Malawi’s economy- Goodall Gondwe


Government has said it will be signing its own death sentence if it increases salaries for all public servants who are on strike because there is no money for such increments at capital hill.

Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe revealed to Afriem that government will have to borrow heavily from the Reserve Bank to make such increments.

“The economy is not doing good at the moment and borrowing will lead to inflation which possibly can end in a recession," he said.

He said that government had no money to increase salaries unnecessary.

"We did not include the increments in our budget and it will be very difficult for us to source funds to effect the salary raises," he said.

As strikes have become the order of the day in the country, support staff for the Judiciary, University of Malawi (UNIMA), Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), and National Food Relief Agency are all on strike demanding a 45 percent salary raise.

Unima workers representative,Flanklin Kapeni told Afriem that the 14 percent government gave them was too little.

"Considering the high cost of living in the country we need atleast 45 percent," he said.

He also revealed that the support staff have vowed not to resume their duties unless government gave them wat the are asking for.

"We need not less than 45 percent and we are not go back to work if we will not get it," he warned.

In a similar fashion, the judicial workers mostly court clerks, reporters,stenographers, secretaries and guards downed their tools early November demanding for better pay and have since rejected government’s proposed salary increment vowing to continue striking if government does not give them a pay rise between 17 and 35 percent.

But, Minister of Labour and Manpower Development Henry Mussa insists judicial workers do not need such an increment as they are already well remunerated compared to other public servants of their grades.

Mussa added that the said Act requires that after exhausting all internal avenues of sorting out grievances between employees and their employer, such matters are brought to the attention of the Principal Secretary (PS) in his ministry who identifies a reconciliatory mediate between the two parties which he said was not followed.

“What is happening is happening behind our back. Nobody between the two parties formally reported the dispute or the grounds of the dispute to the ministry.

“So what we are witnessing is an illegal movement that has no any legal backing,” he said.

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