Leader of Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa has written President Lazarus Chakwera expressing concern over continued delays in payment of civil servants’ salaries.
In a let ter to the President dated September 1, he said the salary delays have not spared members of Parliament (MPs) as they have been receiving salaries and allowances late. He said the challenge dates back to May this year.
Reads the letter in part: “We are informed that these delays are caused by some technical challenges facing the government paying system, the Integrated Financial Management and Information System [Ifmis].
“Whether or not this is true, what civil servants want, your Excellency, is to be receiving their salaries on time.”
Nankhumwa, who is also Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president (South), urged Chakwera to treat the matter with the urgency it deserves “and that he must not ignore the suffering of the civil servants”.
While stressing that Malawians are already suffering due to economic challenges compounded by effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, he has said it is the civil servants who are facing the most hardships at such a time.
It is the legal obligation of your government to pay civil servants’ salaries on time. I, therefore, wish to request your Excellency to reconcile this worrying situation as a matter of urgency and find a long-term solution to it,” the letter further reads.
When contacted on Saturday, State House director of communication Sean Kampondeni, who is also Chakwera’s executive assistant, acknowledged that the President is aware of the situation.
He said the President is working on rectifying the issue, but did not clearly explain how.
Said Kampondeni: “Although His Excellency was already in the course of addressing the anomaly of delayed remittance of salaries to public servants, he is fortified in his determination to continue on that path by knowledge that this is fully supported by all Malawians, including the Leader of Opposition.”
But when asked on what has been causing the salary delays despite Ifmis being present throughout the years, Treasury spokesperson Williams Banda yesterday attributed the delays to late submission of GP5 forms.
“The rules stipulate that every fifth day of the month, every ministry, department and agency [MDA] is mandated to remit GP5 forms for salaries processing. However, most MDAs whose salaries delay remit late,” he said.
On Thursday, Chakwera alongside Vice-President Saulos Chilima stormed Capital Hill where they asked officials in the Department of Human Resource Management and Development (DHRMD) on why some civil servants were yet to receive their August salaries.
The President and his second-in-command made the impromptu visit after presiding over the launch of Scaling Up Nutrition at the Bingu International Convention Centre earlier.
During the visit, Chakwera demanded a report on what is causing the delays and what should be done to rectify the anomalies.
Information and Communication Technology Association of Malawi (Ictam) president Bram Fudzulani earlier challenged government to explain why there are challenges with end users considering the procurement and installation of the new Ifmis commenced during the 2018/2019 financial year