The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) has reprimanded Malawi Government for the delay to end the civil servants’ strike that lasted two weeks.
In a statement released on Thursday, CCJP also lauded the Joyce Banda administration for finding a solution to the industrial strike.
“The government and civil servants stand-off was irresponsibly prolonged. The cries and agonies of the poor people, the civil servants that do the donkey work in government, could not go without support and without response.
“CCJP is convinced that an amicable solution could have very much early been arrived at to accord fair and just wages to civil servants.
“In doing so, avoiding the paralysis of the delivery of basic services, looting and destruction of private property including intimidation of children attending private school education that brought the country to a standstill,” reads the statement signed by its national secretary Chris Chisoni.
Chisoni said government should proactively deal with crises as they emerge from time to time.
“Government must not wait for complete paralysis of its businesses for it to take essential and concrete steps towards effective solutions. Dialogue inspired by empathy with the civil servants must always be desired and must influence swift actions and responses,” reads the statement.
The commission also urged civil servants to come up with reasonable demands in the future.
Government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu said government had to follow a proper negotiating channel and look into the resource envelope so that it is in tandem with International Monetary Fund fiscal guidelines.
He further said the delay resulted from the fact that Civil Servants Trade Union did not attend all meetings.
Civil servants started a strike on February 11 demanding a 67 percent salary increment which resulted into closing of public schools and shutting down of airports, among other institutions.
Government on Thursday evening announced that it had offered to raise salaries for the civil servants by 61 percent whereas the highest paid ones will get a five percent increment effective January 1 2013.