Ntchisi District Council staff sealed offices of the district commissioner (DC) and other senior officers’ to force management to pay them their salary arrears amounting to K20 million.
On Monday, close to 50 council employees decided to force management to pay them their dues.
William Banda, a security officer, said he has gone nine months without receiving his salary, thereby forcing him to engage in casual labour to feed his family.
“Since I was not getting paid, I started doing casual work outside working hours to sustain my livelihood,” he said.
Another employee, Nackson Chunga, said the council has been making promises for a long time, therefore the sit in was meant to send a strong message to management.
“We decided to close the offices to force management to pay us. The DC went to police and brought 15 officers to threaten us, but we instead demanded a letter of commitment,” he said.
Ntchisi District Council information officer Pauline Kaude confirmed the development.
She said the council collects on average K1.5 million in revenue every month, yet the wage bill for its direct employees is K2.9 million.
“You know we can’t just fire people because we owe them money and at the moment we can’t even pay them because we don’t have that money,” said Kaude.
She further said the council should have been collecting more, but it is failing to provide basic services in markets.