Cdedi asks govt to waive pension conditions to mitigate economic impact of Covid-19 on Malawians

The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has asked the Tonse Alliance-led to waive conditions for the administration of pension funds as one of the measures to mitigate the suffering some Malawians are going through after losing their jobs due to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Namiwa: Allow  Malawians to immediately access all their pension money

CDEDI acting executive director Sylvester Namiwa believes waiving conditions of the pension administration would enable employees to access their funds for domestic use as most families are slowly dripping into economic shutdown due to the pandemic.

Namiwa, in a statement issued on Tuesday, emphasizes that while his organization commends the government for scaling up Covid-19 preventive measures to contain further spread of the disease in Malawi, they are concerned with the serious impact some measures have had on some quarters of the society, particularly the private school teachers and workers in the hospitality industry.

He observes that since the government ordered the closure of both public and private learning institutions on March 23 2020, and allowed partial operation of some hospitality institutions, many private sector employees have been rendered jobless.

“As we commend government for making sure that teachers in the public institutions are getting their dues, on the contrary, teachers working in private institutions and some workers in the hospitality industry stopped getting their salaries in March, and others in April, 2020. This means that these people do not have any source of income to feed their families and let alone pay rentals when their funds are lying idle at the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM),” Namiwa says in the letter.

“CDEDI is therefore calling upon government to allow Malawians to immediately access all their pension money including employer contribution which can only be accessed after retirement age under section 64 of the Pension Act and employee’s own contribution which can only be accessed after 6 months from the last employment as per section 65 of the Pension Act.

“It is a known fact that the circumstances we are in at this moment, are neither the teachers’ fault, nor are they the employers’ fault. The government is only taking precautionary measures by protecting the citizenry, as stipulated in section 13 of the republican constitution,” he adds.

Namiwa has also commended the government to introduce mandatory measures on usage of face masks when accessing services in all public institutions in a bid to contain further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says it is encouraging that commercial banks and some shop owners have adopted the same mandatory measures on usage of face masks.

However, Namiwa has asked the government, commercial banks and shop owners to ensure that no one is denied such services due to lack of face masks.

“It should be observed that the introduction of the preventive measures meant an outright job and business cut to many people, so it will be more or less like an insult to ask the very same financially strangled people to buy a mask in order to access public services which in most cases are essential. CDEDI is therefore appealing to all public and private institutions, including commercial banks to make available face masks right at their doorstep to all the underprivileged people that are seeking service provision but cannot afford to buy the masks. We are also appealing to the government to consider using some of the funds that have been set aside for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic to buy the face masks to be distributed in all the public institutions,” he pleads.

CDEDI has also reiterated its position that government should endeavor to come up with some home grown approaches in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and that it should avoid the implementation of the copy and paste kind of preventive measures that will only succeed in pushing the poor into an early grave.

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A Moya Kamowa
A Moya Kamowa
7 months ago

This is wonderful ideas. I hope governemnt will listen and act swiftly.

George Malemu
George Malemu
7 months ago

This is a good welcome and let our new government take heed of this. It`s true that teachers in the private schools and workers in the tourism sector are the worst hit by this pandemic and yet the government is not cushioning them. So the best is to release their pension monies without any conditions.

Chosadziwa
7 months ago

Whilst as I appreciate this move on pension by Mr. Namiwa, please also push for the take home percentage from 40% to 65% because a lot of people die leaving behind a lot of money up for grabs by people whom he did not want to get part of his/her pension money since a lot of Malawians are ignorant about writing a will. Please Mr. Namate you are the voice of voice less press hard on the matter so that Parliament should ease the law governing our pension fund.

Chipiku
Chipiku
7 months ago

What happens in the unlikely event that these funds are also missing at the reserve bank

KINANASI 1
7 months ago

Keep on,people are suffering indeed while their money is somewhere

Citizen
7 months ago

A Namiwa lero ayamkhulako za NZERU. Kaya zameramo liti nzeru zimenezi kaya.

killion mwendabure
killion mwendabure
7 months ago

Mr Namiwa, thanks for bringing out this injustice on Pension administration. It is inhuman indeed for someone who has left employment to wait for six months to access his pension. Can the new Government seriously look into this and repeal the pension act. Let someone who has been dismissed or left employment on his own access his pension immediately after leaving employment.

robert kondowe
robert kondowe
7 months ago

Mr. Namiwa , thus good move.

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