- Feb 26, 2003'Ghost Employees Deplete Govt Coffers'
African Church Information Service
February 24, 2003
Posted to the web February 25, 2003
Things have turned sour in several government departments in Malawi,
where civil servants have not been paid salaries on time. A situation
workers created by senior government officials, is depleting the
Teachers in primary and secondary schools, being the most affected,
abandoned classes in a number of schools in several districts around
country, including Blantyre.
The issue of ghost workers came out strongly following an audit
International Monetary Fund (IMF) late last year. It was discovered
government's inflated wage bill was a result of huge numbers of
workers created by officials in six ministries.
Names of deceased staff, retired workers, and of fake individuals were
noticed on payrolls. The education ministry was the most affected.
The Teachers Association of Malawi (TUM) has since taken the treasury
task, accusing it of being insensitive to the plight of teachers, who
the largest part of public workers. Out of a total 120,000 workforce in
public sector, 60,000 are teachers.
TUM General Secretary, Lucien Chikadza, said morale was low in all
education divisions around the country. He blamed the ministry of
headquarters for the mess.
Towards the end of last year, workers in education, agriculture and
ministries went for Christmas and New Year holidays without pay.
In the past two years, salaries have been paid irregularly.
Finance Minister, Friday Jumbe, has since apologised to teachers and
promised speedy action, saying teachers were victims because the
wage bill was plagued with a lot of problems.
"The situation is regrettable because issues of salaries are not
The wage bill in the ministry has been fluctuating when it is supposed
remain constant," said Jumbe.
Last month, an IMF team made its seventh visit to Malawi since 2002,
accused the government of spending beyond budget passed by parliament.
The Fund suspended a US$56 million aid until issues of financial
mismanagement and poor governance were resolved, and presidential
limited, among other conditions.
Subsequently, Malawi's bilateral donors , the United States of
Britain and the European Union, have also closed their aid taps.
Angered by President Muluzi's reckless spending, the World Bank is
pressing the government to refund US$1.5 million in aid of various
uncompleted projects. The EU is also demanding that the administration
gives back about US$7 million, for similar reasons.
UN blames Mugabe for crisis
The United Nations food agency
has said that the Zimbabwe
Government is largely
responsible for the
humanitarian crisis there.
The Zimbabwe crisis was "almost
beyond comprehension" and could
easily have been avoided, said
James Morris, head of the World
He pointed to President Robert Mugabe's land
which has left thousands of normally productive farms
Up to seven million people - half the population -
need food aid, donors
This year's harvest is expected to be even lower than
in 2002 - just
40% of normal.
The government has also been accused of diverting food
aid away from
Mr Mugabe blames the food shortages on failed rains.
He also says that his land reform programme should
production, because white farmers generally grew cash
crops such as
tobacco and paprika, while small-scale black farmers
generally grow the
staple food, maize.
But Mr Morris disagreed.
"This scheme (land reform) along
with restrictions on private sector
food marketing and a monopoly on
food imports... are turning a drought
that might have been managed into
a humanitarian nightmare," he told
lawmakers in the United States.
Mr Morris said that he had held six
meetings with Mr Mugabe in the past
six months but had failed to
persuade him to alter his economic
policies or remove bureaucratic
obstacles to food production or aid
The head of the US Agency for
International Development, Andrew
Zimbabwe had become "a basket
case rapidly sliding into a disastrous
famine that is politically induced," he
A government audit reportedly
shows that many of the farms seized
from white farmers have been allocated to government
officials, rather than landless blacks.
In neighbouring Malawi, which was worst hit by the
food shortages last
year, the government says that the situation is
improving this year.
- << Previous post in topic Next post in topic >>