Some people have given up, others have died while waiting yet others are still pushing. The effort and cost of pushing literally outweighs the value of the money they are fighting for, but still they are pushing, perhaps not for the money, but justice.
This is a story of Malawians who are waiting for payment of death gratuity for their deceased relations and have since written the Ombudsman.
Nation on Sunday has come across dozens of cases of people waiting for death gratuity or payment for deceased estate that has not been honoured for many years, some as long as two decades. This is despite clear evidence that funds were remitted to the Administrator General’s Office.
The development also follows reports of over 1 700 yet-to-be addressed complaints which point to allegations of K80 million deceased estate which some civil servants abused over a decade ago.
The office of the Ombudsman has 37 files of such cases where beneficiaries have been left to wait forever for administration of deceased estate, one of which has just been concluded after 24 years of waiting.
The deceased, in this case, worked for Ministry of Health and died in 1996. Since then, the family had been pushing without hope.
Said a Zomba-based beneficiary, who opted for anonymity: “In 2001, we went to Ministry of Health headquarters where we were asked to hunt for my cousin’s file out of a heap of files. Fortunately, we found it. The cheque was already submitted to the Administrator General’s office, but it went missing …and we had to follow up all these years.
“It was two months ago that we engaged the current Ombudsman who has been able to follow up until last week when we got confirmation that payment was ready.”