There was commotion at Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) head offices in Blantyre on Thursday afternoon when its contracted voter registration officers staged a protest, demanding their allowances.
Close to 50 voter registration staffs people from Blantyre City, who are mostly teachers, stormed Mec’s offices, chanting songs of discontent, demanding to be paid their dues while calling for Commissioner Reverend Chimkwita Phiri to address them.
However, after hours of protest, Mec officials bowed to the pressure and released the claimed money.
“We want our money. Commissioner Chimkwita has been visiting us during the registration process, and now he is nowhere to be seen. We want him to address us on his claims that we will be paid our dues in time,” argued some of the protesting clerks.
According to the group, each officer was supposed to pocket K18, 000, which is for nine days registration period.
In an interview, Mec Media and Public Relations manager, Sangwani Mwafulirwa attributed the delay in paying out the clerks to the failure by the Treasury Department to release the funds on time.
Mwafulirwa said: “Another issue was that, we were working on raising their allowances. We had to delay because we wanted them to be paid the new rate rather than the old one, as communicated in the contracts”.
He could not, however, disclose how much will the clerks and supervisors pocket following the pay-hike, arguing “that is contractual issues that I cannot disclose”.
The development happened just a day after Mec had wrapped up second phase of voter registration process in some parts of the Blantyre City and other districts in the southern region.