Malawi losing billions on ghost teachers, nationwide strike looming

Billions of kwacha from government coffers are being lost out on ghost teachers in operatives being masterminded by unscrupulous civil servants at Capital Hill in Malawi’s administrative capital Lilongwe, Nyasa Times can reveal.

Kalekeni:  24% is unacceptable

Kalekeni: We will sanctionn a strike

The revelation comes in the wake of ‘cashgate’ trials currently ongoing in Malawi courts, following the plundering of more than $100 million dollars of public money through hazy deals by public officers between 2012 and 2013.

According to Nyasa Times investigations, senior public servants responsible for teachers’ perks are swindling the latter’s hardship allowances, leave grants and salaries through the creation of bogus pay rolls.

“There are still a lot of loopholes that some [the senior officials] are using to cash in on ghost teachers,” a source at Capital Hill told Nyasa Times. “Government is losing billions.”

Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) general secretary expressed a gloomy concern over the matter, and warned that, as teachers, they would stage a nationwide strike should the malpractice continue.

“We will sanction a strike the country has never seen,” warned Kalekeni.

Kalekeni said it was sad that thousands of teachers were “suffering because of few senior members at Capital Hill who create ghost workers, and siphon money that is supposed to ease some of the numerous problems teachers encounter.”

Government is believed to be owing a horde of teachers billions in leave grants, hardship allowances and salaries for newly recruited staff.

Nyasa Times reported Tuesday of the status quo of most primary school teachers in the country most of who resort to loan sharks to eke out a living.

During a research dissemination workshop in Lilongwe Monday, Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) executive director Benedict Kondowe told participants that a survey they conducted recently showed that government is losing billions of kwacha in paying salaries and other benefits for teachers who do not exist.

According to Kondowe, their research showed a mismatch between the number of teachers that exist in government files and those that are on the ground.

“They were more teachers on the government list than on the lists we collected from authorities in various schools across the country,” said Kondowe. “Where is the rest of the money going?”

Director of basic education at the Ministry of Education Dr. Joseph Chimombo told Nyasa Times that the ministry “was not aware of pilferage of the government money through ghost teachers.”

He added: “Now that we have evidence from Mr. [Benedict] Kondowe, we will definitely take it up from there.”

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41 thoughts on “Malawi losing billions on ghost teachers, nationwide strike looming”

  1. Si sad. I graduated in 2012 and stayed home bad 2 yrs without being employed while some selfish officers are practicing theft. Uwu ndi uchitsiru…………. Zandinyasa, it cant happen that there are no pipo at the capital hill who stole maney in form of cashgate. Serious investigations must take place at the capital hill. ACB MUST ACT

  2. Luke says:

    Kooodi Muyesa Amene Sakudziwani Mdani Nenani Kt Mulibe Ndalama Osat #yachuka Czoona I Knw Kt Muchedwetsa. Chilima Amkati B4 10march Ena Akt Month-end Choti Mudziwe Ana Ammasukulu Ena Sanalembe Mayeso Musova!!!

  3. babika says:

    Comment please go and check mj,mzmba,ru,phal,manz districts to mention a few

  4. Dinesi Walter says:

    It’s very unfortunate. I graduated as special needs teacher in 2011 but up to now no salary. What a ministry! Remove all the bosses at capital hill, Mr Chilima.

  5. Genuine boy says:

    The best way you can do Mbachi is to contact Nyasa Times reporters and you will be assisted Call Alfred Chauwa in Lilongwe I know his mobile number is 0999451682

  6. one malawi one people says:

    bravo, Benedicto KONDOWE. iyi yokha iyi usaisiye, it will help both teachers and the gvt, work hard on this and may the gud Lord guide u on this one, upulumutsa mizimu anthu ambiri ovutika, ….this is genuine activism osati za ena zandale zija… akubawo agwidwe. alangidwe they r counter productive.

  7. Dingase says:

    With all these revelation will the zero aid buget materialise?

  8. Mbachi says:

    Please help me! I’m a primary teacher here in Mzimba north and in December 2014, I got K170,000 fake salary arrears in my account and the accounts lady called me before pay day to tell me the deal and when I cashed the money I gave her K110,000 and she said this will be shared between her and the capital hill officer.

    I feel guilty of this but how can I return this money before the investigation comes to our office?

    1. Chemtukanika says:

      Just report to police.

  9. kwake nkuluma says:

    In My Considered View, Kondowe Has Wrong Data. He May Wish To Be Schooled That Govt Has 120000 Active Trs, Apart From Having 30000 As Pensioneers, All These Get Their Emoluments From The Ministry. There Was An Exercise Which Fished Out Ghost Workers In The Past. That, However, Doesnt Preclude The Fact That These Cashgate Used Scumbags Can Devise Other Means Of Pilfering Money From The Ministry.

  10. boston mlotha says:

    Comment too unfortunate for the malawian teachers

  11. nachisale says:

    The government must do head count ngati anapanga Bingu ija.

  12. Kennedy says:

    Everyone will cry when teachers will hold a nation wide strike end June.

  13. Sopani says:

    I’m not a teacher but a parent who have been following the many sufferings the teachers go through. TUM you started long ago making noise for a nation wide strike on the plight of our teachers in Malawi but up to date nothing has taken place. You should know that even parents and our children are suffering because these teachers are failing to do their job. Children are not learning due to these discrepancies happening to their teachers. We want the strike now, now and we parents and our children will join the teachers in the streets. It is high time teachers have been treated like pigs. One day I visited the regional education office in Blantyre only to find a number of teachers complaining that they are not receiving their salaries, arreas and promotions because their files were lost. How can files of employees lost anyhow like that? is this not Fraud? Teachers should be treated with utmost respect if we want our children to learn. The government must act immediately! fire all those that are perpetrating that teachers should suffer. Teachers who are trained by government are left wondering in the streets. Are you serious govt???


  15. Liberalist says:

    Cashgate started by Bakili Muluzi a bedmate of Pitala now. The problem lies with teachers themselves. They fail to unite to push for the better working conditions. Just look to our neighbour Zambia teachers are enjoying whilst here in Nyasaland salaries are very low. Reason most primary teachers hold very bad certificates of JCE & MSCE of 40 points and again their poverty is stinkingly skyrocketing compounded by a huge family unable to stand up against government. TUM is one Rubbish rubber stamp of government with a wide mouth no substantative actions Sorry! Top civil servants at Capital Hill are copying from elected presidents who are hardcore criminals such as Muluzi, Bingu, JB & now Pitala who mercilessly root public coffers in cohort with their spouses, relatives, cronies etc. Mbuzi amayimangirira pamene ikadye osati mbuzi imadya pamene ayimangirira. Foolish Malawians kungomakangana pa mitundu pamene andale akulemera. Zitsuru nonse a Malawi kuchoka kumwera mpaka kumpoto

  16. Kanyimbi says:

    The civil service truly needs reform. They are the ones that have failed this country. However they demand higher wages for poor quality work. Please Malawians lets shake them up. There are more people who need jobs and who can do it better.

  17. Malawians when are we going to be serious? This is very absurd considering we’re in un concluded cashgate at the same capital hill. who are these sacred cows and who or why are they are being spared.

  18. Melody says:

    We are in a failed state.The Government has no direction.And most new graduates are not geting posted.We need more teachers and health workers.

  19. WOYERA KAMANGA says:


  20. Rodger says:

    Comment kondowe is our freedom fighter. . !

  21. chilombo cha ku Dowa says:

    Amangeni akadye nyemba

  22. Kakhuwo says:

    Education is a tormented ministry.Ev kalekeni himself is an usurper as TUM deducts money from teachers who have not registered into this so called teacher trade union.His canopy seems to umbrella even the secondary sector but his reality only influences the primary sector.thief!

  23. hendrina says:

    too sorry for the poor malawi teacher.

  24. kapatown says:

    anthu akunenepera ma leave grant a aphunzitsi omwe akulandira ndalama zochepa. at capital hill people pretend as if they do not have money yet they are building houses in area 10,43,46. azayamba kuululidwa mmodzimmodzi kuyambira majunior nkuzathera ma senior. mukuona ngati mwabisara?? tikuonani! shame on you!!!!

  25. True patriot says:

    I hope the strike in question will be next term not now,because we have already finished examinations.For its effectiveness,then lets stage it next term.

  26. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Koma Capital hill sikutithandiza. Dr Joseph Chimombo says he does not know anything about ghost teachers or about the inflated payroll.

    This is incompetence, Dr.

  27. ministry of education is a fucked department here in malawi

  28. Kanyatula Rodrick says:

    Sometimes I wonder why always Malawi. Ntchito zolembana pachibale anthuwa samakhala ndi mantha hahaha, chosecho enafe kusowa Ntchito thou we have a will to develop this Nation of ours. So so sad. Its part of development I bliv.

  29. Lazalo says:

    Plight of teachers must be considered, these people suffer alot.

  30. gwepenya says:

    a chimombo, doctor ngati mzeedi muli kunenazo?

  31. Mtunda says:

    Comment: It is surprising that gvt does not know to date about ghost workers way of siphoning money. Seriously, work on the research findings. One of the ways they use is that the clerks at head qtrs n those from demos ofcs collude. the head qtrs clerks deposit moneys in accs of clerks at district n then share to each other through transfers within their accs or otherwise. check their accs n u will get a shock of the day. kudos to the researchers n take my comment seriously!

  32. Chalk Ezewu says:

    TUM is a dog without teeth. Walk the talk and we will surely support that strike, otherwise, teachers will remain to suffer at the clumsy hands of those heartless individuals. Wake up Malawi! How can the nation develop if its teachers are treated like residues?

  33. Munthu wa Mulungu says:

    I wonder if Malawi will ever be freed from this malpractice.

  34. Uku ndi kupha m’phunzitsi..kuti adziwe ufiti akupangawo si chifukwa cha m’phunzitsi kodi? Kill the roots & let us see if the tree grows!! Shame on you!!!

  35. bratusha says:

    Are our systems dead or alive according to the so called Dr Chimombo is saying? Don’t you have internal systems to check malpractices? U Dr multi nawowo ndiye mmapabfa nawo chiyani tsiku ndi tsiku? Do you have to wait for CSO studies to know that the system is decaying? Why is Malawi so sick? Stupid!

  36. mbani says:

    This is Malawi Magazine accounts clerks in the govt r rich check how they r building,driving,drinking,womanising,fees they r paying to their kids in expensive xools even fees for themselves to get deplomas,degrees and Masters in street colleges like at Malangala and Magalanja, ESAMI even at MIM go and check if ur a responsible govt.they r paying all these while their payslips r at K89 000 sad these r red flags and how do u handle red flags while the seniors r part of the group.Fuel ndiye ishiii ango nenepa matako both OS s and Fuel attendants.procurement officers they don’t go on holidays ena kumabelekela mma office amwenye avuta pa town offering ma 10%

  37. Gule Wa Mkulu says:

    This system was introduced by Bakili Muluzi to fund his party the United Destruction Front (UDF). All the problems of corruption was started by him and his party. Malawi will never progress in anyway because of this party and its off shorts such as DPP and PP. They are all the same. Near Bua in Dowa there’s a secondary School that never existed its well staffed. Ask Safuli. He knows better about this.

  38. jbm says:

    CommentBravo brother Ben continue anvelling more malpractices.

  39. Tateyo says:

    Wonders shall never end.

  40. Sydney Chipazo says:

    Koma Malawi Sadzatheka,maarreas A ine A2012 Mpaka Lero,oho! Ndizimene Mukumapanga Eti? Shame On U!

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