Mzimba Public Works Programme registers no ghost workers

M’Mbelwa District Council has not registered any case of ghost workers in this year’s Public Works Programme, a development which has been attributed to measures put in place by the council to ensure transparency during implementation.

Beneficiaries counting their money at Sonjo
Beneficiaries queue to receive wages pic Pauline Kaude-Mana

There have been reports of ghost workers appearing on the lists of beneficiaries in some districts under the Local Development Fund (LDF) funded programme

Mzimba District Commissioner Thomas Chirwa told the Malawi News Agency (Mana) that prior to payment date of wages, the council made sure that all the beneficiaries’ names were displayed in their respective catchment areas for verification by community members.

He further said during the actual payment of the wages, the council officials ensured that every beneficiary produced a voter registration card whose particulars would tally with those on the list.

“As a council, we have been receiving reports that there were ghost workers in some catchment areas especially Sonjo, which has one of the highest number of beneficiaries but we have established that there wasn’t any,” said Chirwa, adding that, the council has managed to pay beneficiaries from 18 of the 22 catchment areas in the district.

Chirwa said the programme has proven its worth as most of the roads which were impassable are now accessible, a lot of trees have been planted, and irrigation dams constructed among others.

Besides transforming the areas, the programme has benefited the communities with a source of income. Each beneficiary is paid K14,400 after working for 14 days.

According to one of the beneficiaries, Linda Nyirenda of Elijah Nkhoma Village in the area of Chief Mtwalo in the district, she will use part of the money she has received to buy food during this lean period and save some through the Community Savings and Investment Promotion (COMSIP) group in her area.

Another beneficiary, Lovemore Mkandawire of Mukama Mkandawire Village said he would use the money to pay school fees for his child.

Mzimba district has a total of 16,000 beneficiaries under the Public Works Programme who are engaged in road rehabilitation, irrigation, afforestation and sanitation activities.

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