Lecturers at of the University of Malawi (UNIMA) strike which started on Tuesday, August 7, 2012 is still going on as reports indicate that the Ministry of education has not come back with any feed back over their call for salary increment, Face Of Malawi has learnt.
On Monday, August 6, 2012 the Lecturers of the University of Malawi issued a threat that they were going to take an industrial action against their employers if their demand for a 113% salary increment was not addressed by Tuesday.
According to sources at the Polytechnic campus, the situation is not as usual because most students are just moving around because the lectures have not gone into class.
It is also reported that the situation is still no different at the Chancellor College in Zomba, the College of Medicine and the Kamuzu College of Nursing where students are also having no classes.
While acknowledging receipt of the concerns raised by the lectures as well as the ongoing strike, Ministry of Education Principle Secretary John Bisika has told the local media that government was looking into the matter with the urgency it deserves.
However, he could not say the exact date when the issue will finally be settled explaining that government machinery involves some steps which have to be followed for such issues. “Of course we have received the concerns from the lecturers as well as news that they have stopped teaching.
“However, let me say that these issues cannot be addressed within a short spell because it does not only involve the education ministry but others as well such as the Ministry of Finance.
“We have taken up the matter with all the relevant authorities and I think a lasting solution will be made after the discussions,” Bisika told the local media.
The letter containing the issue sent to the University of Malawi (UNIMA) vice Chancellor Emmanuel Fabiano was signed by the Union’s president Uchizi Mughogho and Secretary Gift Khangamwa.
Chancellor College Academic Staff Union President Sunduzwayo Madise told the local media that the 113 percent salary increment demand is in line with the recent devaluation of the Malawi Kwacha by 48.18 percent.
However, the development is likely going to have a negative impact on UNIMA’s academic calendar which already delayed due to the academic freedom fight which saw students staying out of class for over five months as the concerned authorities tried to sort out the matter.
And now it is only some few months after the resumption of classes at the colleges that this issue of salary increment has come up which means if the lectures issue is not resolved in due course, the students’ calendar will suffer another big blow.