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Angry teachers storm Capital Hill

Some teachers in Lilongwe marched to Capital Hill offices yesterday to demand an explanation from the government officials over December salary delays.

Some of the teachers also argued that some of their colleagues have received the salaries but it has been credited to their bank accounts as perks for January and not December.

The teachers have been on strike, demanding their December 2019 salaries as some of them were skipped on the government payroll.

Some 5,000 teachers from primary and secondary schools were skipped on the payroll due to what the government claim was their failure to submit national identity details to Capital Hill for processing the perks.

In the morning yesterday, Teachers Union of Malawi (Tum) Secretary General, Charles Kumchenga, said some teachers have received pay.

He advised all teachers not to go to District Council (DC) offices but rather to converge in their respective schools.

He, however, said Tum will make an announcement when the sit-in, which commenced on Monday, has been called off.

“Teachers have started receiving their December salaries and we have been informed by the teachers in Mangochi and others from Lilongwe about the same, so we are yet to establish whether all teachers will have received their pay by the end of today [yesterday],” he said.

But later in the day, the group of teachers started marching to Capital Hill.

One of the teachers Isaac Nthala, speaking from Capital Hill gate, said they have been provoked as they have not yet received their dues.

“Our concern is that the December salary is not yet in our [bank] accounts, yet they are announcing, through different media houses, that our December salaries are ready. The police have stopped us from entering [Capital Hill] saying we do not have a letter from the city council and police,” he said

The teachers blocked the entrance to the government’s offices.

Police officers manning the gate restrained the teachers from entering the premises, arguing that they did not have permission to do so.

The teachers said they wanted to meet Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Justin Saidi.

All vehicles were not allowed in or out the government offices.

Saidi insists that the teachers’ salaries are ready.

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