North civil servants demand their money back from CISSEN

Government employees from the Northern Region have taken to task the Civil Servants Social and Economic Empowerment Network (CISSEN) demanding back their K700 which they paid as membership fee.

CISSEN is a network formulated within the civil service to empower and promote the welfare of women working in the civil service across the country through provisions of loans, among others.

The national director of the network is Hawa Ndilowe, Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC).

But the Northern Region based civil servants say they are no longer interested in the network because it has failed to live up to its promise of providing them loans as earlier indicated.

Some civil servants in the North receiving the People's Party clothe from officials.
Some civil servants in the North receiving the People’s Party clothe from officials.

The civil servants expressed their concerns during a meeting they had in Mzuzu with the ruling People’s Party (PP) officials from the region who were reportedly sent by President Joyce Banda to find out problems they were facing.

Several concerned women civil servants said they feel betrayed and cheated by the network and want their money back.

“In June last year, a lady by the name Joyce Chawawa from Lilongwe came  here and introduced us to CISSEN which she claimed was aimed at empowering women working in the civil service through provision of soft loans.

“We were told to form groups of five people and each person was asked to pay K700 as membership fee or book fee in order to qualify for the loans,” explained one lady who refused to be named.

The loans, according to the woman, were expected to be in form of goats, fertilizer, soya beans seeds, groundnuts seeds and some cash to start small scale businesses.

However, the woman claimed they were later shocked after receiving another communication from CISSEN officials that things had changed and everybody must grow soya and groundnuts and that government would look for the market on their behalf.

But the communication further angered the women when it indicated that before being given the seedlings each person was expected to show CISSEN officials where she would grow the crops.

“We were also forced to buy a piece of cloth bearing CISSEN name and logo at K1800. To make matters worse buying of the cloth was also made compulsory but there is nothing tangible that we have seen out of it,” narrated another woman working with the Ministry of Education.

The women claim since last June nothing had happened “and that is why we are asking CISSEN network to give us back our K700 which we paid as fees to get the loans.”

The women then pleaded with the PP officials to ask on their behalf CISSEN officials the present status.

The ruling party officials have been visiting all the districts in the region to interact with the women civil servants where at the end of their meetings they have been throwing their party’s orange clothe at the civil servants.

They have already interacted with women civil servants from various government departments in Chitipa, Karonga, Rumphi and Mzuzu.

The CISSEN Clothe women civil servants were forced to buy at K1800.
The CISSEN Clothe women civil servants were forced to buy at K1800.

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