Malawi: Government Pays Teachers' Outstanding Salaries After Protests Turn Ugly

23 January 2020

Ministry of Education, Science and Technology says it has now paid outstanding salaries for the 7,167 teachers who were removed from the payroll in November last year, following their failure to submit details of their national IDs as was requested by government.

Principal Secretary in the ministry, Justin Saidi told journalists in Lilongwe on Wednesday during a press briefing that teachers concerned could now check for their salary arrears from their respective commercial banks.

The recent few days have been characterised by teachers and, in some cases, pupils converging at local councils and/or district education managers' offices in some parts of the country, demanding their unpaid salaries.

On Wednesday the nationwide protests by teachers degenerated into chaos and looting.

Saidi told the journalists that the 7, 167 teachers were not getting their salaries because they did not submit their national IDs, hence were deactivated from the payroll system.

However, he said government decided to pay them on condition that they submit requested details of their national IDs which they did.

"Teachers were converging to councils to get their money as at first, we wanted to use a pay-parade system by disbursing money to respective local councils.

"However, we changed to pay the teachers using banks because it is faster compared to using the pay- parade system," Saidi said.

According to the Principal Secretary, the teachers who were removed from the payroll have all been paid after they submitted details of their national IDs and asked them to check with their respective banks.

In reference to pupils also converging at local councils in some districts due to unpaid salaries for their teachers, the PS appealed to the latter not to involve pupils in such matters, saying they very young and need to be modeled into good leaders.

The Account General, Sungani Mandala said it was not only teachers that were removed from the payroll because of failing to submit their national IDs but other civil servants too were affected.

He said all teachers who submitted the requested details have no reason now to go to the councils again as their salaried have now been paid through the banks.

Mandala said there was a good reason for government to remove those who did not comply to its request, appealing to all civil servants, including teachers to always take government communication seriously.

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