Malawi Police Service officers have been left enraged after being forced to contribute part of their salaries towards this year’s Christmas Party being disguised as a Christmas Parade slated for next month, Nyasa Times can reveal.
Making the matter worse is a directive by the National Police’s administration to forcibly deduct the contributions directly from the officers’ meagre salaries starting this month end.
Information Nyasa Times has sourced, at the National Police Headquarters; the Service is expected to deduct K5, 765,000 from salaries of about 313 officers without their approval. Officers at the region level are also expected to be deducted.
Deputy Inspector General (IG) Administration, Duncan Mwapasa in an interview with Nyasa Times insisted that the event is a Christmas Parade, adding no officer is being forced to contribute towards the procession.
“It is a parade not a Christmas party and it is not new thing; it has been there and it is a trend for officers to contribute towards the parade. They all know they have to contribute,” explained Mwapasa.
According to information in our possession, 121 police inspectors are expected to be deducted K10,000 each from their salaries, 72 assistant superintendents K15,000 each, 40 superintendents K20,000 each, 34 senior superintendents K25,000 each, 17 assistant commissioners will be deducted K30,000 each.
11 senior assistant commissioners will contribute K35,000 each, seven deputy commissioners will be deducted K45,000, six senior deputy commissioners K50,000 each, three commissioners K55,000 and two deputy IGs K75,000 each.
Mwapasa said the parade was a must-attend event where the Inspector General (IG) Lexten Kachama is expected to analyze the performance of the service during the year.
Asked why the contributions are by compulsory, Mwapasa justified the move as one way of ensuring that the officers own the event.
“There are so many ways of contributing the money but since we are against time, we decided to deduct the contributions from salaries. We know if we give the officers liberty to contribute at their own will, some might not pay on time”.
However, several officers interviewed wondered why they are directly deducted from their salaries contributions for an official event.
“It does not make sense that we should be forced to contribute for a Christmas party being disguised as a parade. A nd if it is indeed a parade, why should we contribute? It is an official event, they are supposed to use the funds allocated by Parliament for the service,” complained one of the aggrieved officers.
But Mwapasa said the government funding is prioritized for core functions of the police service.
“The funding that we get from government is used for our core functions, that is, ensuring that we are providing enough security to the nation. But since the parade is our own event, officers have to own it by contributing funds”.
Aside the Christmas parade deductions, police officers have a total of about K13, 000 deducted from their salaries every year (K1, 087 every month) for maintenance of the official houses. But no maintenance has taken place for decades.
Information indicates that a police constable gets a take-home pay of K45, 000, a sergeant gets between K49, 000 while a sub-inspector carts home K53, 000. These earnings fall short of meeting the rising cost of living.
According to national budget documents, in the past three financial years, a total of K5.6 billion has been allocated for the MPS’s Management and Support Services.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :