Dowa District Council’s junior staff have closed offices of the District Commissioner, Fannie Msimuko in protest over low monthly salaries which they say is not matching with today’s cost of living.
The staff, mostly revenue collectors, watchmen and cleaners claimed that they have been receiving K16, 530.00 per month which is against the minimum government wage of K25, 000.
According to one of the revenue collectors, James Msamba, they have been sending letters to the DC starting from 2014 but she has never responded.
The angry staff said they will open the offices once the council raises their wages by 20 percent.
However, in one of the previous full council meetings, the Council’s Finance and Works Service Committee Chair, Councilor Simeon Nyemba, appealed to the council members to re-visit the direct employees’ salaries for them to perform better in line with the council’s services.
Nyemba alleged that the council’s staff stay two to three months without receiving their salaries; a development he said is negatively affecting their everyday problems saying they have families and relatives to look after.
He said the council is working with a demotivated staff that cannot be trusted to increase the revenues from the market while they receive peanut salaries of K16, 530.00 per month.
In 2015/16 financial year, Dowa District Council was the highest in revenue collections of all the councils in Malawi.