Grace Chiumia must apologise— Malawi Congress of Trade Unions
The Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) has said Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Grace Chiumia, should publicly apologise for ordering the arrest of 42 National Registration Bureau (NRB) officials in Mzuzu last week.
MCTU, which has since called the action “unbecoming”, has said Chiumia should promise the public that she will never use force in order to silence powerless and voiceless workers.
Speaking at a press briefing that MCTU held in Lilongwe Monday MCTU Secretary General, Denis Kalekeni, said beside the minister’s apology, government, through its spokesperson Nicholas Dausi, should condemn the conduct displayed by the minister and exonerate government from such “barbaric acts”.
Kalekeni said the workers must be paid their salaries, including their arrears, by September 30 2017, saying, failing which, MCTU shall join the struggle.
“The Minister of Home Affairs should make a public apology on her unbecoming conduct. The conduct of the minister and the police is barbaric, retrogressive and a threat to freedom of assembly and association. The minister or the police have no power to abrogate rights of Malawi’s Constitution,” he said.
Kalekeni further said President Peter Mutharika should urgently deal with Chiumia.
“We appeal to the Head of State to urgently deal with this minister, who is tainting the image of Malawi, in as far as respect for human rights is concerned,” he said.
Asked on the delay in responding to the matter as a labour organisation, Kalekeni said the union’s officials were in Zambia when the incident occured, but was quick to say MCTU will not rest until the minister apologises and the workers are paid their dues.
Last week, Chiumia, who has come under fire for her actions, told The Daily Times that her action was in the spirit of protecting government property.
Some of the NRB workers who were arrested are demanding K140 million in damages from Chiumia.
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