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Prison officers cancel strike

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By Faith Kadzanja:

Junior officers in Malawi Prison Service (MPS) have resorted not to down tools following assurances from the Ministry of Homeland Security that their grievances would be looked into.

The workers threatened to conduct a nationwide strike from Tuesday to force the government to promote them, after it promoted some Malawi Police Service personnel.

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MPS, Malawi Police Service and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services fall under one ministry, hence the workers’ demand that the government promote MPS staff after it did the same with law enforcers.

On Tuesday, all prison staff across the country had meetings with their seniors, at which they were reportedly advised to continue working because promotions were in the offing.

An inside source told The Daily Times that they have been told that their lot would be promoted by end this week.

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MPS publicist, Chimwemwe Shaba, said in a separate interview that the meetings did, indeed, take place.

“Management engaged the Ministry of Homeland Security and the issue is being taken care of. As of the time frame, I may not say much but the issue is receiving all the attention [it deserves],” he said.

Recently, the government promoted about 7,000 police officers.

Records at MPS indicate that the service has about 3,000 members of staff.

Had the junior staff proceeded with their action, it would not have been the first time as, in 2017, they went on a nationwide strike demanding salary harmonisation among officers of the same grade in MPS, Police and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services.

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