The business community has given its views on the two-week civil servants holiday, which commenced on December 23 and is due to end on January 5.
President Peter Mutharika granted the holiday to all civil servants except for institutions that provide essential services such as hospitals, police, immigration and airports, to allow them rest and celebrate the Christmas and New Year festivities with their families.
Weighing in on the issue, Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Smea) president James Chiutsi told Business Review on Tuesday the timing for the holiday was good, arguing that entrepreneurs in food selling business took advantage of the holiday to sell their food stuffs.
“Since business is two-fold; we can say that the holiday has not affected the business community as most traders in food stuffs have performed well.
“However, in terms of security, the holiday has lowered security services in the country resulting in theft and other unruly situations,” he said.
Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) president Newton Kambala said on Tuesday the two-week holiday has had no effect on businesses.
“Most of the private sector officials are also on holiday. As such, I don’t think there is anything regrettable because of this holiday,” he said.
MCCCI is a business lobby group that represents the interests of the country’s private sector and about 50 percent of their business is derived from government through provision of goods and services.
Indigenous Businesses Association of Malawi (Ibam) president Mike Mlombwa has described the two-week holiday by civil servants as a positive development.
He said the holiday has given government time to reflect on the industrial action currently taking place.
“We are urging government to make it uses this break to reconcile with institutions that are on strike because we have been unable to carry out our business transactions because of the strikes,” he said.
Over the past years, government has been giving civil servants at least a two-week holiday during the festive season.