Over 847 soldiers from the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) have lodged a complaint to government through MDF Commander General Ignacio Maulana on why their allowances amounting to K1.3 billion were deducted for no plausible explanation after they finished their peacekeeping sojourns mainly in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
An internal memo dated June 4, 2015 indicates that the whole budget for the whole contingent was K 3 billion ( $ 6, 769, 224) but so far government has only remitted K1.7 billion ($ 3, 780, 515)
The memo, copied to all army units and signed by Lieutenant Colonel Gowa, shows that the soldiers were supposed to get $1332 monthly from August 2014 – February 2015 but have not done so since September, 2014.
After getting the whole $1332 amount in August, the soldiers then received only $574 in September and October. Thereafter, they got $1090 each for three months from November to January this year.
The memo strongly highlights that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has been remitting insufficient funds for all these months and this has brought discord among the men and women in uniform who have served mostly in the Democratic of Congo (DRC)
Maulana recently appealed to President Peter Mutharika to help the Army address its many problems.
The MDF has been dogged by serious accommodation problems among others over the years and Nyasa Times reported before that President’s visit that junior ranked officers are demanding cash-strapped government to consider salary hikes of up to 70 percent for the soldiers to match with the rising cost of living.
The soldiers in a circulating mail are asking government to increase their allowance, improve their accommodation and transport facilities and enhance their promotion system and pensions.
When he visited Kamuzu Barracks in Lilongwe recently, Mutharika, who is also Commander-In-Chief of the MDF ,commended the military for its peace keeping missions and assured “Government’s continued support in ensuring the improved welfare of our men, and women in uniform.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :