Nurse’s strike

It is heartening that nurses and medics in general have called off their strike to give authorities an opportunity to study their grievances.

This is how it should be.

Any strike action especially among essential service workers should be the last resort after all other approaches and avenues of redress have been explored. This particular strike did not meet this standard, it was too sudden and spontaneous and an obvious knee jerk reaction provoked by the realization that non professionals had inched closer to their salaries.

We must pay tribute to the Minister of Labor Mr. Fackson Shamenda who took it upon himself to step into the impasse that had led to considerable pain and suffering among innocent citizens seeking medical attention at the premier hospital in the country.

It is our hope that the Minister will not only address the issues presented by the staff at UTH but will indeed cast his sight over the entire medical field within the Ministry of Health and related Ministries that have now taken on health functions.

While UTH staff may have taken the lead there is no question that other nurses and medical officers in other sections of Government are equally affected.

Please pay the farmers

The revelation by the National Farmers Union that farmers are wowed as much as K150mikllion is depressing as this effectively means that most farmers will not be able to access inputs for which they are expected to pay.

It is imperative therefore that Government should take the plea by farmers seriously. The amount outstanding is not only substantial but represents a very large portion of the sweat and toil that ordinary farmers and peasants put in their agriculture efforts with the aim of sustaining themselves.

We are aware that Government has exported some of the maize to earn foreign currency which should be channeled towards liquidating this outstanding debt.

The Government should appreciate the fact that most of the farmers sold the maize to FRA because of their commitment otherwise they would have taken the easier option of exporting on the black market where better prices are offered.

If Government fails to pay, we would recommend that a special arrangement is made for farmers to secure inputs, including seed and fertilizer.