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Minister locks out civil servants

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By Faith Kadzanja:

KUTSAIRA—I will take punitive measures

Natural Resources, Energy and Mining Minister, Bintony Kutsaira, Monday locked out civil servants at Capital Hill in Lilongwe for reporting for work late.

Kutsaira locked the offices at around 8am, leaving late comers loitering outside their offices.

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At around 9am, the minister addressed the members of staff, advising them to report for work on time, saying he would not entertain late-comers.

In an interview, Kutsaira said the civil servants need to be exemplary in work ethic if Malawi is to develop.

“For the short period of time that I have been here, I have noted that people report for work late—at 9am, some at 10am and even 11am—so I decided to give them the first warning that the time for going to work anytime they want is over.

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 “There is too much relaxation in the civil service and this mindset has to change. Civil servants in countries that have developed take their work as serious business. If some report for work late five times in a month, I will take punitive measures. Some leave their jackets in the offices; I will be collecting all of them so that we get to know the civil servants who are not committed to work,” he said.

But Civil Servants Trade Union General Secretary, Madalitso Njolomole, has described the move as harsh saying the Minister should have asked the workers reasons that made them report for work late.

“Civil Service is big machinery and I understand that some of the civil servants at the Ministry of Natural Resources went to other offices before they went to their own office. However, others, indeed, came late. Our appeal to those who go to work late is that they have to improve’’.

“The initiative, which the Minister has undertaken, is somehow harsh because he could have asked each and every one as to what made them report late for work. However, we appeal to all civil servants to report for work in good time,” Njolomole said.

Civil servants start their work at 7:30am and knock off at 4:30pm.

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