Over 1000 public primary and secondary school teachers are yet to receive their April salaries after their names were erroneously listed as ghost workers by the National Audit Office (NAO) and removed from the payroll following last year’s headcount and payroll audits.
In October and November last year, NAO conducted a headcount and payroll audit for all civil servants to eliminate ghost workers said to be inflating government’s wage bill.
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) spokesperson Manfred Ndovi confirmed in an interview today saying the affected teachers are those who did not go through the headcount exercise.
He confirmed that among the affected teachers are over 500 from Nsanje, 312 from Ncheu, 60 from Mzuzu, 32 from Balaka, 25 from Blantyre and 10 from Lilongwe.
“We are informed that the teachers were not present during last year’s headcount exercise by the National Audit Office and as earlier communicated that anyone who will not be available will be removed from the payroll. That is what has happened,” said Ndovi.
He however said the ministry has already made necessary submissions to the National Audit Office and the Department of Human Recourses Management to reverse the situation.
“We are waiting for the auditors to verify their files. We hope the teachers will get their salaries this month,” said Ndovi.
Nsanje district education manager (DEM) Hendrix Likeke said 567 teachers have been affected in the district.
“As for Nsanje those who have been affected are the ones who receive their salaries from the DEM’s office but those who receive from the education division have received their salaries,” he said.
One of the affected teachers from Mpatsa Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Nsanje who confirmed to have gone through the headcount exercise said he is psychologically disturbed and stranded for he has no where to look for food and school fees for his children.
“This is unfair; most of us are living in rented houses because the ministry cannot afford to provide houses for all of us. Where are we going to find money to pay rentals? My children need to continue with their education, how am I going to pay for their school fees? And look at how expensive maize is, how are we going to survive?” he queried.
The recently finalised payroll audit report by the NAO is said to have exposed a number of ghost workers masquerading as civil servants.
Secretary to the Treasury (ST) Ronald Mangani is on record saying government is already deleting the ghost workers from the system.
Malawi has about 78 000 teachers in both public primary and secondary schools.