More than a year after the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is yet to pay some police officers who provided security services during the polls.
MEC confirmed the situation in a written response to a questionnaire on Monday, explaining that it found itself in this fix because some officers who were originally picked for the jobs and got allowances never showed up and had to be replaced.
What should have happened was that MEC was supposed to claim the money back from the initial crop of officers to pay their replacements.
That has not happened, both MEC and the Malawi Police Service (MPS) have confirmed.
MEC hired 9 750 police officers to provide security at polling stations across the country.
However, the police officers that went as replacements have not received their allowances amounting to K20 000 each, a year after rendering the services.
“It is painful not to get your money for a year. Maybe MEC is taking advantage of the fact that, by the nature of our job, we cannot protest,” said a police officer from Machinga.
MEC spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa acknowledged that there are some police officers across the country that are yet to receive their allowances largely because of a condition donors made regarding the money.
He said: “The condition was that payments should be made through electronic bank transfers. This required gathering bank details in advance before deployment and it was done.
“The officers who were earmarked for deployment were given 50 percent upfront of their honoraria. However, it transpired that during polling, some officers were not available for deployment as they had been assigned to other duties.”
Mwafulirwa said MEC would request the Malawi Police Service(MPS) to collect the money on its behalf.
But Clifford Bandawe, director of operations at Police Headquarters in Lilongwe, who attended one of the meetings with MEC, said the organisation should collect the money itself.