While business was almost normal in major cities in the country, Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central African Presbyterian (CCAP) observed day of rage by sending their staff on holiday yesterday.
The synod’s general secretary Reverend Levi Nyondo confirmed saying that the staff were told not to report for duties in compliance with the urge made by opposition political parties Malawi Congress (MCP) and UTM.
The parties urged Malawians not to report for work yesterday to remind Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson Jane Ansah to step down.
“We communicated to the members of staff not to work on Friday because the alliance urged us not to go work. As I speak, our offices are closed,” he said.
Earlier, Nyondo said they are doing this as a sign to show that they are annoyed with the current leadership of Mec that is adamant to step out of office.
“We want to show that we too are not happy. In fact, what the President [Peter Mutharika] has done by not signing the bills and not taking heed of the recommendations by Pac [Public Appointments Committee of Parliament] is very wrong.
“In other countries, it would have been very bad. But the President seems to be undermining the people’s demands. Ansah and her colleagues kindly and politely should step down, this is a serious request from the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia because she is confusing all Malawians from Nsanje to Chitipa,” he said.
However, businesses were almost normal in Mzuzu City.
Spot checks in some government agencies such as Malawi Revenue Authority, Education Offices and the courts showed that they were operational.
Thursday, government issued a stern warning to civil servants that anybody who would not report for work for no apparent reason would face serious disciplinary actions.
“I have just come to work because I love my job, not necessarily being afraid of the government’s threats” said a worker at Mzimba North Education Division who sought for anonymity.
Most markets were also vibrant.
In Lilongwe, it was business as usual as long queue were seen on the streets of the Administrative Capital.
At Capital Hill, the seat of government, carparks were full as usual as civil servants took heed of the threat by Chief Secretary to Government Lloyd Muhara.
MCP Deputy Publicity Secretary Ezekiel Ching’oma referred the matter to the party’s spokesperson Maurice Munthali, who could not be reached.
Spot checks by Malawi News established that was a usual working day in Blantyre and business was normal yesterday.
Government offices as well as privately owned companies and shops were open.
Blantyre City Council cleaners were spotted doing their usual duties such as cleaning streets and cutting grass along the roads
Some of the workers said they could have loved to stay away from work but were afraid of disciplinary actions from their bosses.
“I could have wished to stay away from work today but I listen to my bosses, they never told us to miss work,” said Macdallo Nseyama who works at Workfoce Security.
Minibus drivers said they could not risk their jobs because their life depends on working every day.
“It is true we were not supposed to work today but nowadays life is hard, we work for today’s food, hence if I can’t work today, then I will have nothing to eat today.
“I heard the message on radio but we are afraid our bosses can fire us if we don’t work today, we are afraid of our bosses,” said one of the drivers who opted for anonymity.
MCP and UTM made the call in Lilongwe Tuesday that Malawians should abscond from work, branding it a day of rage to remind Ansah to step down and that Mutharika should fire Mec commissioners.