Goodall Gondwe angers civil servants


The Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) has expressed disappointment with Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, for saying that the civil service cannot make a person rich, urging those who want to get rich to look for high-paying jobs elsewhere.

Gondwe made the remarks on Tuesday in an interview after the opening of Managing for Development Results Learning week.

He said people should look at other incentives in the civil service, stressing service to the nation is the pride civil servants have.


In a statement released yesterday, CSTU says Gondwe pre-emptied one item of the negotiation agenda that was supposed to be handled by the Government Negotiating Team. It says what the minister said invalidates the Government Negotiating Team.

“We would like to recommend that the Government Negotiating Team be allowed to perform its duties professionally without any political interference and undue pressure,” reads the statement, dated January 26, 2017, signed by CSTU Secretary General, Madalitso Njolomole.

It adds: “The Civil Servants Trade Union finds the remarks made by the Hon. Minister extremely offensive and quite threatening which goes against the spirit of collective bargaining and negotiations with an employer as enshrined in the country’s labour laws and ILO [International Labour Organisation] conventions.”


In the statement, CSTU observes that Gondwe’s remarks are not new as on October 20, 2015, when addressing a press conference, President Peter Mutharika condemned the demands for higher wages by public servants.

“CSTU strongly condemns these remarks as they are a recipe for chaos and a threat to our hard-won freedom and democracy. We cannot imagine how the country would be like if indeed all professionals in the civil service decided to leave and look for alternative employment elsewhere as suggested,” the statement continues.

In the statement, CSTU has also urged the government to critically look at the challenges that civil servants are currently facing. One of the factors highlighted is poor funding to government ministries, departments, and agencies, which it says, affects performance of civil servants.

“For instance, how do you expect civil servants to be productive when the government ministries and departments have not been funded since December 2016? It is our expectation as a union that the government should provide a conducive and enabling environment to civil servants for them to discharge their duties efficiently, effectively and professionally,” it says.

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