span style=”line-height: 1.3em;”>The two-week civil servants’ strike in Malawi might have ended, but public funds worth billions of kwacha went down the drain and government stands to cough more in payment to some companies for loss of business.
Economics Association of Malawi (Ecama) executive director Nelson Mkandawire said airline companies such as Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and South African Airways are likely going to claim from the Malawi Government for loss of business.
Mkandawire, who was stuck in Zambia during the strike following closure of airports in the country, said many people scheduled to fly into Malawi were stuck in different parts of Africa and that is a huge loss to the airline industry.
He said: “Obviously, there were several other people, local and foreign, that wanted to fly out of Malawi, but failed. Although we may not at this time quantify the loss, but trust me, it’s a lot of money lost.”
The economist said the tourism sector suffered substantially.
Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga last week declined to comment on the loss the government incurred and what it stands to payout for loss of business, saying he did not have information on that.
Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) executive director Benedicto Kondowe said in an interview the strike impacted negatively on education in that it reduced the student taught time.
Kondowe said: “This means that work/content that was supposed to be covered during the time that teachers were on strike will be difficult to be covered. The strike itself has also psychological effects on learners especially where learners realise that their right to education was infringed.”
“The overall implication is that such strikes if not avoided in future will ultimately affect the students’ overall performance in addition to contributing towards poor standards.”
He said there is a loss to government too in that it will be paying teachers even when they were not rendering their services, a cost to taxpayers that could have been avoided if intervention was made timely.
The strike started on February 11 and government ended it about two weeks later after it offered civil servants a 61 percent pay hike.