Things falling apart at Blantyre City Council: No salaries for workers

It never rains but pours for the Blantyre City Council (BCC). The financial destitution that has hit the country’s major municipal office has reached alarming levels that it has no money to pay its workers, Nyasa Times can reveal.

Over the last few months the council has been operating on bulky bank drafts to ensure that some of its activities are implemented and its workers get paid.

But its banks, First Merchant (FMB) and Standard, now appear to no longer withstand with the situation and are becoming reluctant to release any more funds to the cleaned-out public institution.

The development has resulted in the council failing to pay salaries for the month of June to some of its workers as its coffers are totally dry.

Nandolo:  Crisis at BCC

Nandolo: Crisis at BCC

As of Thursday, July 10th, more than half of the council’s workforce has not received their June salaries and are not even sure when they will get it.

Primarily, according to Nyasa Times investigations, those who have not been paid are the middle class employees.

“Our pay day is 25th of each month but today it’s 10th which means we are 14 days into another month without getting our salaries. I have been here [at BCC] for about 15 years and this is the first time this is happening,” one of the disgruntled workers at the Health Department told Nyasa Times.

“To make matters worse, management is not telling us anything about the issue and our patience is now wearing thin,” he added.

However, reports indicate that all senior managers who hold Grades M1 to M4 received their salaries on the designated pay day which is 12th of each month.

The senior managers are chief executive officer, departments’ directors and their deputies, public relations manager and the legal officer.

“Last Friday, we were fooled to believe that we would get paid after receiving our pay slips but the whole Independence holiday passed without anything in the account. It is now getting out of hand, we are appealing to the relevant authorities to do something with our management,” he pleaded.

But another source from the Engineering Department disclosed that apart from senior managers, some ungraded employees also got their pay.

She, however, said the ungraded staff also received their salaries some few days later after their pay-day which is the last day of the month.

“Mainly those who have not received their salaries are the ones who hold Grades S1 to S6,” she explained.

The source indicated management deliberately quickly paid the ungraded workers because they are the ones who usually initiate trouble once disgruntled.

For the last few months, the ungraded workers have been the major casualties receiving their wages several days beyond their pay-day.

In April this year, BCC laid off over 500 workers, mostly those on temporarily, after it started operating on deficit.

The financially-trimmed city council has over the recent months been in the limelight for serious scandals ranging from corruption to tribalism mainly involving the CEO Emmanuel Ted Nandolo and his second in-command Alfred Chanza, who is the director of administrative services.

However, despite undergoing such a phase of serious mismanagement with all the evidence coming into sight, President Joyce Banda has decided to maintain Nandolo because he is her brother-in-law (he married her sister).

To corroborate the issues, BCC has over the last eight to 10 months lost over 100 senior and middle employees to resignation citing poor management while close to 100 others are on suspensions on flimsy reasons.

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