The 2019 Marine Rescue Teams in the Lower Shire have taken a swipe at their employer ‘ the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) – for paying them field allowances instead of subsistence allowances.
The team argues that the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) had budgeted for subsistence allowance, which is higher than field allowance.
“The teams has been receiving K1 500 and K1 000 per day for officers and soldiers, respectively instead of the budgeted allowances as per rank structure.
“The arrangement (to pay them field allowances) has been made without the knowledge of the MDF Commander as the Commander has always emphasised that allowances should not be compared and treated as such,” one of the soldiers on the rescue mission in Nsanje told Nyasa Times.
He explained that border allowances are different from allowances for soldiers involved in protection of forest and those in rescue operations spearheaded by Dodma.
The concerned serviceman further stated that field allowances need to be treated differently from subsistence allowances.
“Field allowances should be paid to operations within the MDF and subsistence allowances to operations with a civilian element. The teams were deployed on 8th March 19, but until today, 26 March, they have been paid an equivalent of 7 days (K7 000) despite living in harsh conditions where they required to meet their personal needs,” he said.
He added that since 2012, rescue teams were being given subsistence allowancse to fend for themselves.
“That’s the arrangement of allowances in 2019 is quite new and suspicious, which needs investigations by the sponsoring department (DoDMA) or else issues of alowances should from now own be handled by DoDMA itself. The past years where payment of allowances was handled DoDMA, there were no issues of underpayment.
“Junior NCOs were getting K10, 000 while senior NCOs have been getting K15 000. On the other hand, junior officers were carting home K20, 000 and K25, 000 for senior officers. The rates above reflect subsistence allowances per rank structure,” explained the source.
But MDF spokesperson Paul Chiphwanya said in a brief interview on Tuesday night that his office is not aware of the development.
“No! That’s news to me. I am not aware of the development,” said Chiphwanya.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :