Bleak Christmas for some Malawi civil servants: Delayed salary

A bleak festive season awaits several thousands of civil servants in the country after government failed to pay them their December salaries in time before Christmas Day.

By December 24, members of staff at the Information Department, staff, ministry of justice and ministry of health were some civil servants who had not received their monthly salaries.

“How do I tell my kids that I have no money for Christmas?” said one worker at the judiciary who requested anonymity.

“There is no Christmas for some of us. It is just a wish,” commented another at Ministry of Health.

Flashback: Women civil servants at the Kamuzu Palace

At Information Department, workers were going for Christmas “empty-handed”, according to what they say the delay to their Salaries Officer a Mr Malitowe at the Capital City who they are accusing of incompetency and lack of seriousness on his job.

“I wonder how a qualified officer should up to date not pay his officers. How does he think we will survive?” wondered an officer at the department’s Southern Region’s offices.

“For the human being to be happy in this festive season, what we need is money. We should have all it takes for one to buy food and other household items,” added another angry officer.

In a phone interview, Malitowe said he had put salary vouchers into banks on December 20, 2012 which most officers have said that is a big lie saying if that was true then other banks would have cleared their salaries.

“What he claims does not make any sense because we don’t use one bank. To my own understanding, if there is a delay in salaries, that matters with a particular bank. Our colleagues are with the National Bank, New Building Society (NBS), Malawi Savings Bank (MSB), First Merchant Bank (FMB) and others.

“And this is not true that all banks should delay in processing our salaries!” added another staff at the department’s Central Region.

According to an inside source, government previously announced that all civil servants salary vouchers should be cleared by the 17th December to make every staff financially equipped during the festive season”.

The source then said if Malitowe indeed sent the vouchers on 20th, then he missed the deadline as no bank would be in a position to clear the voucher later than the date specified by government.

“If this is the case then I am sure civil servants in the information department should expect to get their salaries in the first days of January,” she added.

Other departments for example; Education, Lands, Physical Police, Metrological Survey and others received their payments.

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