The Ministry of Education has said the reduction in April salaries was due to an error which the Department of Human Resources Management and Development (DHRMD) has since corrected.
The clarification follows a complaint by Secondary School Teachers Union (Sestu) that April salaries for secondary school teachers were lower than expected.
But responding to the complaint, in a communique dated May 13 2021, the ministry’s director of administration James Manyetera states that DHRMD observed that civil servants in the ministry were being under-deducted in their pay as you earn (Paye) tax.
The communication said the salary deduction affected several departments under Ministry of Education.
Reads the statement in part: “During the month of March 2021, the Department of Human Resource Management and Development [who control the code for Paye taxation in the HRMIS centrally] observed that the Ministry of Education was being under deducted, where it was observed that the deductions were at 15 percent.
“This case was for entire Vote 250 which includes the Ministry Headquarters, all education divisions, Malawi College of Distant Education, and secondary school teachers. A correction of this anomaly was made and it is this correction that has been construed as an over deduction on Paye for the month of April 2021 for the entire vote.”
The communique further said the ministry was liaising with the Ministry of Finance on the matter.
In an interview yesterday, Sestu interim president Pilirani Kapolo said they have received the communication which they have shared with members for their input.
He said: “If they decide to recover the money we have been getting, it will be a challenge because teachers will not allow that. How come that the mistake was not corrected for about five months.”
Kapolo said secondary school teachers’ April salaries were between K36 000 and K56 000 less, depending on one’s grade