26 February 2013

Malawi: Civil Servants Pay Raised, Bishops Praise Move

Lilongwe — Catholic Bishops of Malawi have expressed gratitude for the solution to a two week tug of war between the government and civil servants demanding a 67% pay rise.

Protests in the country caused serious social disruption. The authorities have agreed on a 61% per cent increase to the lowest salaries and a 5% increase to the highest ones.

According to Fides, the Bishops' Commission for Justice and Peace, the Catholic Church in Malawi says the decision to devaluate Malawi Kwacha, continued floatation and the linkage of the fuel prices to the global market prices leading to automatic fuel price adjustments is worsening the economic situation of the people.

The Commission criticizes certain economic moves of the government such as the decision to privilege some investments over others. These economic measures have created a serious social fracture.

"Malawi is seriously entrenching a two-tier society with over 80% of the population struggling to survive and depending on poor, over-stretched and quality-compromised public service delivery; while the 20% are affording privatized education, health and security services," the statement affirms. "This 20% of the population that is able is creating a section of passive and irresponsive citizenry that has become silent to the plight and cries of the majority poor," it further adds.

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