Eleven health workers at Zomba Central Hospital (ZCH) have been interdicted since Friday, pending further investigations into their involvement in the strike that has rocked the institution in recent weeks.
Names of the interdicted staff were not immediately available, but Ministry of Health spokesperson Henry Chimbali said the affected staff represent all sections of the hospital.
“We have information that they influenced others to go on sit-in. They also prevented others from working. They have been interdicted on half pay pending further investigations,” he said.
Some employees of ZCH have been staging a sit-in to push government to remove four members of the hospitalâ€™s management team as a condition for them to resume work.
But Secretary for Health Willie Samute, in a statement last week, said the strike at the Eastern Region referral hospital was illegal because the staff did not follow the right procedures.
The hospital wards, the pharmacy and the out-patient department have been deserted for several days as health workers staged the sit-in.
On Monday last week, police officers in uniform evacuated two members of management who had locked themselves in their respective offices when striking staff learnt about their presence at the hospital.
In June the staff wrote the ministry and gave it a 10-day ultimatum to transfer the four members. The four are accused of among others abusing staff and abusing hospital funds.
The agitation has continued for weeks despite discussions with Minister of Health Khumbo Kachali, who is also the countryâ€™s Vice-President.