MCTU cancels today's demonstrations following a meeting with President Chakwera

The president still continues to show that he is being indecisive whenever it comes to making decisions that affect the public:analyst

The Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU) has called off the demonstrations scheduled to take place today following a meeting it had with President Dr Lazarus Chakwera in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

The demonstrations were sought as a reaction to the controversial Labour Relations Amendment bill which was passed in the Parliament last week.

According to the President of the Union, Charles Kumchenga, President Chakwera has promised them that he will not assent to the bill when it comes to his office but rather he will send it back to Parliament for further scrutiny.

Kumchenga further said that Chakwera assured members at the meeting that views of relevant stakeholders will be taken on board before the bill is enacted into law.

He indicated that it is the assurance by the Malawi President that the Union has made them take a u-turn on the earlier planned demos. 

"The key issue is consultation; because in the bill itself, there are a lot of issues. We are talking of limiting the number of days for the strike and many others. But the point we are making is, there must be thorough consultations and MCTU must be helped. That is the key issue," expressed Kumchenga.

Commenting on the development, social commentator, Wonderful Mkhutche, said President Chakwera is an indecisive decision maker, who pretends not to know what bills are being passed and yet such bills stem from the Office of the President and Cabinet.

Mkhutche said: "The President still continues to show that he is being indecisive whenever it comes to making decisions that affect the public. Because you cannot have a bill in Parliament without the President knowing about it."

The bill, which was passed last week amid resistance from the opposition members and MCTU, has been described as oppressive and retrogressive.

Among other concerns in the bill, it gives employees only three days in a year to hold industrial action and that the employees be deducted from their payment by the employer.