MEC asks unpaid polling staff to ‘cool down’

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is asking all unpaid polling staff who worked during the May 2014 Tripartite Elections to remain calm and patient, saying the commission is doing everything possible to process their payment.

The appeal comes few days after a group of teachers who were among the polling staff clashed with police in the capital Lilongwe when they were demonstrating against what they called “unreasonable delays” in having their payment processed.

But in statement released Monday night, MEC’s Chief Elections Officer, Willie Kalonga says the delays are only for those who had earlier submitted wrong information on the bank accounts as poll workers are being paid directly through transfers to their bank account by funds that have been provided by Development Partners.

Kalonga:  Be patient
Kalonga: Be patient

Kalonga says the poll workers were first required to submit their bank details and their information checked against attendance registers as proof that they had worked.

“To date, the Commission has sent for payment the details for over 81,000 staff that worked during the election. The majority of workers have received their payments, but there are still some who are yet to receive their payment. This delay has largely been caused by wrong bank details being provided to the Commission, which have been returned by the banks for correction”, he says.

Kalonga explains that so far, the Commission has received more than 10,300 records which have been returned.

“The details for these staff are being followed up by the Commission as soon as they are returned by the banks and will be resubmitted. The Commission is assuring the general public that it is doing everything possible to ensure that all people that worked during polling are paid and considers this issue its highest priority.”

Meanwhile he is asking all poll workers are asked to be patient and wait for further communication from the MEC.

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