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Agriculture technicians threaten to down tools

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ACKNOWLEDGED RECIEPT — Nyandule-Phiri

The Union of Malawi Agricultural Technicians says over 1,000 of its members from various districts across the country are set to down tools if the government does not revise their working conditions.

In a letter addressed to Minister of Agriculture Francis Kasaila, copied to Secretary for Agriculture Grey Nyandule-Phiri and various government departments, the technicians complain about government neglect of their welfare “although they help the country achieve food security targets”.

The union’s General Secretary Isaac Adams Kwisongole said starting from this week, all technicians will stage sit-ins until their concerns are addressed.

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“We are forcing the government to settle our salary arrears in almost eight Agricultural Development Divisions in the country for Field Officers starting from 2014 up to date,” Kwisongole said.

The union is also asking the government to allocate funds in the 2020/21 budget for the purchase of motorcycles to address mobility challenges that the technicians face.

Nyandule acknowledged receipt of the demand letter and indicated that the ministry is looking into the matter. He said they are planning to invite the leadership of the union for a discussion.

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Civil servants in various departments and agencies have been pressing the government to improve their working conditions, especially in the face the Covid-19 pandemic.

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