Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) has revealed that it will no longer handle funds to pay delayed honorarium for polling staff, majority of which were teachers.
The electoral body has, in the past few days, been under fire for failing to pay the polling staff, forcing some to stage demonstrations at its offices.
But a meeting the Commission had with Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) and Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU) on Wednesday, 16th July, 2014 in Lilongwe agreed that Mec will not handle the funds but rather will be handled by development partners from the donor basket fund managed by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
In a joint statement issued by MEC, TUM and MCTU, it is reported that UNDP has already paid some of the polling staff who submitted their back details.
“MEC designed a special form for collecting bank details of all the 89,000 poll workers and it was administered before the polling with an aim of building a database of the bank details,” reads part of the statement signed by Chief Elections Officer Willie Kalonga, Pontius Kalichero MCTU Secretary General and Denis Kalekeni TUM Secretary General.
It is reported that about 81,000 poll workers provided their bank details, which were already processed and submitted to UNDP for payment.
“Out of the 81,000 records submitted about 85 percent had been paid by the bank and that close to 10,000 records were returned because of incorrect details like wrong bank account numbers.”
The three institutions argue that despite the delay in paying the poll workers, funds were intact and that MEC was not handling cash but just processing the records and submitting to UNDP who were in turn transmitting them to the bank for payment under the basket fund.
TUM was engaged in the meeting because it is a union for teachers while MCTU was drafted in cause TUM is its affiliate.