As the two-week ultimatum which Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) gave government to respond to teachers’ demand for Covid-19 risk allowances elapsed on Saturday, Capital Hill has now promised to provide answers by end of this week.
TUM secretary general Charles Kumchenga in an interview yesterday said when they inquired from the Ministry of Education on Saturday, they were told that an answer will be provided this week.
He remained hopeful that they will get answers, warning the teachers will take drastic action if the new promise is also broken.
Said Kumchenga: “We contacted the Ministry of Education through the Principal Secretary Chikondano Mussa. We were told the ministry has been consulting on the matter and there is assurance that we will get answers by end of this week.
“For us, our parent ministry is that of Education and that is where we demand answers from.”
Ministry of Education spokesperson Chikondi Chimala said the matter was still under discussion at central level, adding Treasury, the Presidential Taskf Force on Covid-19 and Human Resource Department were better-placed to speak on the matter.
But Secretary to Treasury Chancy Simwaka claimed his office was not party to the discussion, saying: “We are not party to that discussion, so I don’t have an answer to that.”
On his part, Principal Secretary for Human Resource Blessings Chilabade said communication on the issue will be made through TUM and Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) which are holding the discussions with government.
Earlier, Mussa also said the matter was beyond the ministry’s capacity, adding they were waiting for guidance from central government.