Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa on Wednesday, September 1, 2022 wrote a letter to President Lazarus Chakwera calling on him to intervene in the matter of delayed civil servant salaries.
“I am sure that Your Excellency are aware that civil servants in this country who include teachers, nurses, clinicians, doctors, drivers, cleaners, office assistants, clerks, quantity surveyors, accounts officers police, army, immigration and prison officers, among others, have not been getting their salaries on time.
“As I write, civil servants have not yet received their August salaries, which was also the case with the July salaries,” said Nankhumwa in the letter whose copy Nyasa Times has seen.
Ironically, President Chakwera stormed through the Department of Human Resource Management and Development (DHRMD) at Capital Hill on Thursday, September 2, 2021, to demand answers and call officials to account for the delays in payment of civil servants’ salaries.
President Chakwera was returning from the launch of a nutrition campaign at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC), when he passed by Capital Hill to seek salary delays clarification. He was accompanied by State Vice President, Saulos Chilima, who is also Minister Responsible for Public Sector Reforms and Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi, among others.
President Chakwera has since demanded that a report on the problem and the remedial measures to be taken to urgently resolve it be put on his desk tomorrow for his continued intervention.
But in his letter to the President, Nankhumwa said apart from the mainstream civil servants, Members of Parliament (MPs) have also not been receiving their salaries and allowances on time dating back to the Budget Session meeting of May, 2021.
“As I write, various parliamentary committees are meeting and members have not been receiving allowances for fuel and others.
“We are informed that these delays are caused by some technical challenges facing the government paying system, the Integrated Financial Management Information System, or IFMIS. Whether or not this is true, what civil servants want, Your Excellency, is to be receiving their salaries on time,” reads Nankhumwa’s letter in part.
The opposition leader informs President Chakwera that civil servants, their families and dependants woke up very early on June 23, 2020 to cast their vote, which culminated in his ascension to power.
“It is, therefore, important that when the same people are suffering today, you must always listen to and side with them.
“Civil servants have responsibilities to take care of their families and dependants, and pay electricity and water bills every month. Schools have just opened and parents, including civil servants, are supposed to pay school fees for their children.
“Most civil servants live in rented houses and one cannot begin to imagine the embarrassment they have to endure at the hands of their landlords as a result of late payment of salaries.
“Your Excellency may also be well aware that Malawians are already suffering due to the prevailing unfriendly economic environment where prices of basic commodities have risen sharply, including rentals and transport costs. So, it is catastrophic for a civil servant, who is already under-paid, to be receiving salary late,” says the opposition leader, who also serves as DPP Vice President for Southern Region.
He concludes by reminding President Chakwera that it is the legal obligation of government to pay civil servants’ salaries on time.
“I, therefore, wish to request Your Excellency to reconcile this worrying situation as a matter of urgency and find a long-term solution to it,” ends the letter.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :