While most people were probably nibbling chickens and beef as they made merry on Christmas
Day, some health workers in hospitals that fall under the Christian Health Association of Malawi – Cham could not do the same with their families as the government failed to pay their December salaries on time.
Investigations by Malawi News revealed that some of the employees did not get their December salary, despite Government’s promise to pay civil servants before 20th December, 2017 which was supposed to equally apply to Cham health workers.
Sources within Cham facilities, which are spread across the country, claim that to this date, they have not yet received their December salaries.
They have revealed to Malawi news that when they enquire from the Ministry of Health, they are being told that the problem is with the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).
But when contacted, Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango heaped the blame on Cham Secretariat, saying they are responsible for the delay.
“It’s their own making, but the ministry with Treasury is now fast tracking the payments,” he said.
Ministry of Finance spokesperson Davis Sado corroborated the statement by Malango.
“Government made an announcement that payday for every civil servant was on 19th December but officials from Cham Secretariat came with vouchers on 22 December, making it difficult to process their salaries, but the money has since been transferred to the RBM for clearance and the payment will be deposited to their bank accounts on Friday,” Sado said. Chairperson of the
Parliamentary Committee on Health, Juliana Lunguzi expressed great concern, saying this is not the first time that the government has failed to pay healthcare workers.
“It makes one to wonder whether the government has any regard for people’s lives, especially the very sick who run the risk of being neglected by the care givers who can abandon their work in search of resources to feed their loved ones, especially this festive season,” Lunguzi said
There was no immediate comment from Cham representatives on the matter.
The government is supposed to bankroll health workers in Cham mission hospitals as they cater for a larger population in their respective districts and hard to reach areas where public health facilities are not available.
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