Blantyre, Blantyre District Commissioner (DC) Bennet Nkasala says the council’s salary decentralization programme is on track with the council able to transfer salaries to 20 departments on time.
The new system faced a number of hurdles in a number of districts during the months of January and February with members of staff from some sectors such as; Health, Education and Agriculture receiving their salaries late.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency on Wednesday, he said it is common that when starting a new program, challenges are realized, however, currently, all the challenges have been rectified and the program is moving smoothly.
“The challenges did not come in so as to misinterpret that it was the government’s fault, but last time there were problems because money could not be cleared though it was available in the auto teller machines,” Nkasala explained.
The District Commissioner said previously there were some problems because some banks were failing to recognize the money channeled to them hence the recipients could find difficulties to access their money.
“Currently, we are processing money for 20 departments from different banks,” he said.
Nkasala commended the new programme saying it helps curb some anomalies that went unseen previously such as recognizing whether a person is deceased or has received their pension.
“However, we do not send the money to the deceased but rather we process the money for other dependants left behind,” he said.
Principal Secretary (PS) for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Kiswell Dakamau, was quoted in the local media saying so far, six server sites have been created where salaries for council staff will be prepared.
According to him, the aim of the devolution is for councils to manage its own staff.
This means council management will be in a position to recruit, promote and discipline respective employees.
“As a process to achieve that, one aspect or component is to devolve the salaries so that individual councils should be managing salaries for its employees. We also rolled out the process of configuring accounts at the Accountant General’s Department so that each and every council should have a separate component in the budget that would receive the salaries,” Dakamau said.
The server sites are in; Mulanje, Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe Kasungu and Mzuzu with one server site currently serving an average of five councils.
Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA