As Malawi Government and the civil servants continue negotiating on improved perks and condition of service with one of the meetings between the two sides scheduled for today, The Ministry of Labour has written the Civil Service Trade Union (CSTU) to quickly clean its house and hold elections for its executive.
However, in an interview on Monday, CSTU general secretary Pontius Kalichero was quick to say that government’s move to question the union’s mandate will not in any way affect the ongoing negotiations.
In a letter which The Nation has seen dated April 8 2013 signed by secretary for Labour James Kalirangwe, government observed that since the mandate of the executive expired on December 8 2012 having been put in place in December 2008, it meant that the legitimacy of the current leaders has been nullified.
“I write to advise that you should arrange to hold elections as soon as possible to pave way for the new executive or indeed obtain fresh mandate as required by your own Constitution and our Labour Laws,”said Kalirangwe.
Kalirangwe in an interview declined to comment on what the fresh demand from government entails.
“We are just asking them to regularise their positions,” he said.
The letter has also been copied to the Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) and the Chief Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).
MCTU president Muwake Chauluka said the mother union body has no problems with government’s demand, saying what the current situation means is that those in the CSTU executive have no mandate to act or speak on behalf of CSTU members.
“As MCTU we are also encouraging the CSTU executive to quickly on the matter,” said Chauluka.