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Government releases K832 million for chiefs pay

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By Feston Malekezo:

The Government has given the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development money amounting to K832 million to pay chiefs arrears accrued between July and December 2018.

According to the government, all the 42,000 chiefs in the country were owed money.

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In a statement from Secretary to the Treasury in the Ministry of Finance, Economic, Planning and Development Cliff Chiunda treasury had been funding district councils yet the chiefs had not been receiving their honoraria.

Chiunda attributed the glitch to logistical challenges at local councils.

“As Treasury investigates these challenges further, the Ministry of Finance, Economic, Planning and Development in conjunction with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has started paying the arrears directly to all the affected chiefs,” he said.

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Chiunda said they have set up a joint team from the ministries of Finance and Local Government which will administer the payment of arrears directly to the chiefs.

“Further communication on this matter will be made to all concerned chiefs. Treasury sincerely apologises for this unwanted occurrence and to all concerned individuals,” he said

Ministry of Local Government spokesperson, Muhlabase Mughogho, said the chiefs’ pay parade exercise started on April 16 2019 in Mchinji District.

Mughogho said, currently, the ministry is paying chiefs from Nsanje, Chiradzulu, Chitipa, Mzimba, Mangochi, Nkhotakota, Salima and Blantyre.

In July 2018, the government increased honoraria for chiefs by 100 percent and the new rates were effected in January 2019.

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