The government has expressed worry over the impact of a two-day strike being planned by civil servants this month.
Civil servants are planning to stay away from work on February 11 and 12, as one way of forcing their employer to raise their monthly salaries and improve working conditions.
Government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu told the media that a new negotiating team has been instituted to go and persuade leaders of the civil servants trade union (CSTU) not to hold their planned sit in this month.
Kunkuyu expressed worry that it will be a disastrous situation if nurses for instance, leave patients in public hospitals without attending to them amidst the drug shortages in the hospitals.
Kunkuyu said: “We are already experiencing shortage of drugs… and if anything we are relying on is the expertise and compassion of people working on the ground. So if they also put their tool down it will worsen the situation.
“So we are pleading with them not to take that route as of now, lets engage them in dialogue and map the way forward”
However CSTU president Elia Kamphinda Banda insists his union wants action from the government on the issues raised.
Kamphinda said: “Our negotiation doors are wide-open. But all are saying is … by word of mouth that is nothing. We want to see things happening.
“We have waited enough for more than enough, and we think it’s time they should stop talking and act. There is literally nothing that we can do if its by word of mouth.”