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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

UNCLE HARVEST: We Do Not Need Public Holidays in Malawi

If we, as a country, are looking at the development of this country and the fulfillment of MW2063, one of the major areas of review and reform is the issue of public holidays.

This country spends a lot of time on holidays.

Let me begin by looking at weekends; 52 days of Saturdays and 52 days of Sundays, a total of 102 days. These are days when Malawi’s workplace is closed down and unproductive. Discount these days from 365 days.

We have 11 days of Public Holidays, bringing the number of unproductive days to 113 in a year.

You then consider that over 80 percent of our workplaces operate a 07:30am to 05:00pm working hours, which is a third of the day, this translates to 168 days of unproductivity.

As Malawians, we, therefore, are not at work for 281 days per annum.

We, can go further and discount from the remaining 84 days we spend at funerals, time spent chatting about the English Premier League, cheap political talk, gossiping, personal leave, sick leave, and unexplained absences.

We are not a productive nation. We are on perpetual leave. We are not an investment destination. This calls for a radical mindset change.

Let us act and act now, otherwise, we a constantly assigning ourselves to remain a least developed country.

We run the danger of becoming the only candidate to qualify to be a fourth-world country, ultra-poor nation.

Cry my beloved country. I have no basis to wish you a happy New Year, not under these circumstances.

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  1. This is sheer madness, lack of planning, zero creativity, laziness and cheating. There is no reason why company/government offices could not be productive/functional 24/7 and 365 days, preferably with three to four days non-productive when you factor in Christmas and New year plus one or two national holidays.

    Developed western countries have a system whereby they have shared working time. One position can be held by 3 to 4 people alternating in their work schedule. This is what is called shift pattern of working. In a normal day there are 24 hours, allocating 8 hours per shift in a day translates to 3 people working daily and in so doing having the company/government offices operational all round the clock. That will increase productivity, unemployment will be reduced and many advantages will be realised. Actually, competition will be high because you will end up having a couple of people qualified for one job but all of them receiving the required job/work satisfaction, hence competition encouraged. Now because productivity will have been enhanced, fears of lacking where to find remunerations will be taken care of. But instead what we have in Malawi is a dead and dysfunctional Department of Research and Development which ends up not being CREATIVE. If that was put into practice the 1 million jobs promised by the Tonse Alliance government would be pragmatic, but what do we have instead? its all excess luggage taking up spaces in government/company offices or factory production floors. Where is the much taunted “Mind-set Change” factor, please? I’ve said my own ooh!!


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