Former Director of Public Affairs in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Gerald Viola is still enjoying his salary and monthly benefits despite resigning from the civil service to pursue his political career, Nyasa Times has established.
Viola resigned from public office last year to contest for a parliamentary seat in Chikwawa South Constituency under the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
But Director of Human Resource and Development Management (HRDM) at the OPC, Edwin Watch, confirmed in a brief interview with Nyasa Times on Sunday that the former Director of Public Affairs still enjoys his salaries and benefits although he does not report for duties.
“I can confirm that Mr. Viola is still our employee and therefore is on government payroll. Send me a questionnaire if you need more details,” he said.
A source at OPC disclosed that Viola recently travelled to Arusha, Tanzania, where he represented government at an international meeting.
He is reported to have pocketed in excess of K2 million in travel allowances for the trip.
“Of course, the director, a Mr Sandikonda, refused to sign for his travel. But Viola bulldozed, using his political connections and got the documents and cheques signed for him to travel to Arusha,” said the source.
The source suspected that Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Lloyd Muhara, might have signed him.
Muhara refused to comment when contacted.
Viola couldn’t be reached for a comment as he was reportedly in Arusha, Tanzania, when we compiled the story.