Staff at Zomba Central Hospital (ZCH) have threatened to put down tools on Monday if government does not honour the workersâ€™ demand to have four management team members removed from the hospital.
The disgruntled staff gave the ministry a 10-day ultimatum starting from June 12 2012 to remove hospital director Dr. Mathias Joshua, chief nursing officer a Mrs. Nyirenda, chief hospital administrator Matthew Mataka and the human resource officer, Peter Nangwale.
In a letter dated June 12 2012 which the ministry acknowledged receipt, the staff cite abuse of staff members, abuse of hospital funds and lack of staff welfare as reasons for their demand.Â
The agitation has continued despite discussion the Minister of Health, who is also State Vice-President, Khumbo Kachali, held with the staff on June 23, 2012.
A visit to the hospital on Friday morning showed posters of discontent by the health workers at the main gate of the largest hospital in the Eastern Region.
â€œThis is just a pre-amble; we will go flat out on Monday unless our demands are met in full,â€ said a nurse who did not want to be named.
â€œWe just spoke to the Principal Secretary of Health but he just angered us more by saying only the posting of the chief hospital administrator is ready. We want all the four people out of this hospital,â€ she said.
Meanwhile, the gates leading to the hospital remain unusually closed although vehicles as well as people are allowed to get in and out without any hindrance.
Ministry spokesperson Henry Chimbali on Sunday confirmed the staff have communicated their intention to go on strike from Monday.
Chimbali said the minister has assured them that the issues raised in their letter will be addressed.
â€œOur position is that some changes will start this week but management cannot be removed just like that, they need to give us some time so that we can be looking at each issue separately,â€ said Chimbali.