National Statistical Office ‘flouting temporary employment procedures’

Some concerned people have complained of flouting of procedures when recruiting temporary staff for some of the surveys at National Statistical Office (NSO) in Zomba.

The office has come under scrutiny after it continuously neglects to follow advertisement procedures as per government requirement.

Nyasa Times sources reveal that the government statistical agency has conducted certain surveys for the past months without interviewing temporary staff.

“The senior officers at NSO have been offering jobs to their relations including girlfriends in various surveys the office is administering. Most recent one is the just ended Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF) Survey where temporary enumerators and drivers were just called by phone to start work in the field.

NSO Commissioner of Statistics Charles Machinjiri

“We see this as not in order and it is not for the first time for them to do such things. Imagine one administrator C. Herbert who just picked up a phone and called his brother Yohane (a driver) for the MASAF Survey without even attending interviews,” said one of the sources.

The source said another survey was 2012 Malaria Research Survey which had most of the temporary enumerators related to the Commissioner of Statistics and some of the administrators.

Another source said: “You cannot understand what actually goes on at NSO because it leaves a lot to be desired. I have in mind one human resource officer recruiting temporary staff and demanded kickbacks from some of them when they receive money to go to the field. It is happening!”

According to recruitment procedures, the NSO is obliged to advertise any vacant position existing at the institution.

Recently, some of the concerned staff at NSO wrote the Ministry of Justice for what they described in their letter as “nepotistic and corrupt practices” taking place at the institution.

Among others was the maintenance of vehicles to unauthorized garages in Zomba and supply of stationery to NSO by a shop of the nephew to the Commissioner of Statistics.

“We appeal to the responsible authorities to clean this rot at NSO whose administrators are adamant and stubborn not to change,” said the sources in their letter which Nyasa Times has seen.

Civil servants working at NSO are demanding the  resignation of  the commissioner of statistics Charles Machinjiri whom they are accusing of practising nepotism and favouritism on how permanent and temporary staff are recruited and treated.

Machinjiri declined to comment on the matter when approached while one of the officers at the Ministry of Justice confirmed the ministry having received the letter.

“I think all the issues are being looked into together with another case which saw one of the senior members at NSO arrested recently for also abuse of office, corruption and theft. It seems there is a lot of rot at the NSO which has to be seriously looked into,” said the officer.

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