Malawi Local Government Association (Malga) has described as unfair labour practice the decision by Ministry of Local Government not to pay acting allowances to officers who acted as district commissioners and council chief executives for three months.
The officers acted in their respective capacities after government interdicted 27 district commissioners (DCs) and seven chief executive officers (CEOs) for three months from February to May to pave the way for an investigative audit on how K6.2 billion Covid-19 funds were used.
In an interview yesterday, Malga executive director Hadrod Mkandawire said they have been pushing for the processing of the payment, but the ministry has not responded to their requests.
He said: “The common labour law and statutory provisions demand that every employee given an extra responsibility and duties which do not fall within his daily work and position, need to be compensated accordingly.
“It , therefore, fol lows that the acting district commissioners and chief executive officers who were in office should be compensated accordingly for the extra responsibility and duties they diligently executed.”
Mkandawire also said this was an unfair labour practice and suspects that the central government deliberately failed to provide appointment letters to avoid making this payment.
A lawyer in the Ministry of Justice said although the officers worked in the respective positions for a period of more than 30 days, they would not be entitled to acting allowance.
The lawyer said: “They were not acting, rather sitting in, which is an administrative arrangement. If you are to act then there has to be an appointment letter and that would have formed their basis for claiming this allowance.”
Ministry of Local Government spokesperson Anjoya Mwanza also said the officers will not be paid because they were not working in an acting capacity to warrant them to receive an allowance.