Health personnel in district councils are yet to receive their January salaries and wages because of a hitch in a new payroll system, Nation on Sunday has learnt.
A circular dated 30 January, 2017 that Nation on Sunday has seen says the delay is due to technicalities associated with a new payroll processing system for the council employees.
“The new processing of salary payments comes in following the adoption of the 1998 National Decentralisation Policy and passing by Parliament of the Local Government Act (LGA) that provides a legal basis for policy implementation, through local authorities in the same year.
“Among other objectives, the policy intends to enhance the efficiency of service delivery by government,” the statement states, adding that the government ,through relevant authorities responsible for payroll and salary processing, is addressing the problems so that council employees get their January salaries without further delays.
A Nation on Sunday inquiry among the concerned health personnel shows that Ministry of Health officials told them that district payrolls have been handed over to the Department of Human Resources and Development (DHMRD).
The personnel say the officials forewarned that the transition from the old system to the new one would cause the January salary delays.
Director of Planning at the Ministry of Health Emma Mabvumbe confirmed to Nation on Sunday that from now onwards, funding for health workers at district councils will be going directly from Treasury to district commissioners.
She regretted the salary delays among health workers in different district councils but said final decisions are in the hands of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
When contacted, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development spokesperson Muhlabase Mughogho confirmed the salary delays for health workers, but she said the ministry is processing them.
However, Parliamentary Health Committee chairperson Juliana Lunguzi (Member of Parliament for Dedza East–Malawi Congress Party) has expressed concern over the salary delays. She urged Treasury to urgently resolve the matter so that the concerned employees receive their salaries.
Parliamentary Budget and Finance Committee chairperson Rhino Chiphiko commended the change of the system, saying this is a positive move that will help to eliminate the presence of ghost workers on the ministry’s payroll.
He, however, asked authorities to speed up the system migration so that the affected health workers are paid as soon as possible.