Government has written the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mia Seppo, to consider raising stipend for the protesting mass national registration officers and supervisors.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is managing funds that donors and government are contributing towards the implementation of over nine million Malawians’ registration exercise.
Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Cooperation, Grace Chiumia, told Parliament through a ministerial report on the ongoing mass registration exercise that government has proposed a daily allowance of about K10,000 for the officers.
While some officers and supervisors who were hired resigned before the beginning and in the process of exercise implementation, the remaining staff has threatened to stop working in protest.
Currently, the officers are receiving stipend of K120,000 and supervisors are receiving K150,000 plus transition fee of K10,000 for every phase of 25 days or less.
Chiumia said the government knows that the money that the officers and supervisors are receiving is not enough and it is working with developing partners in exploring ways of improving the remuneration within the resource envelope.
“As I am talking to you, the government of Malawi, through NRB [National Registration Bureau], has written the UNDP to request for consideration and adjust upwards to K10,000 daily allowances for the registration staff which is in line with government daily allowance for the lowest grade,” Chiumia said.
She admitted the technical challenges that have been rocking the first phase, saying being new technology such things were expected but have solutions.
According to the minister, after December this year, the machines will be placed in the district headquarters and other areas within the districts for continuous registration effective January 2018.
Chiumia also said government will place registration machines in the country’s embassies to enable Malawians in diaspora to have identity cards.
But Members of Parliament from the opposition side, more especially Malawi Congress Party, still remain sceptical that the exercise has faced a lot of challenges in the Central Region districts as a means of frustrating people and would-be voters in those districts.
The first phase which has been taking place in Salima, Dowa, Ntchisi, Nkhotakota, Mchinji and Kasungu has enabled over 1.1 million Malawians to register against a target of 1.8 million, which Chiumia said will still be achieved
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