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Mzuzu City Council in K10 million unpaid gratuities

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The Mzuzu City Council (MCC) owes its ex-employees about K10 million in unpaid gratuity benefits.

In recent months, the retired officers have been thronging the MCC offices in an attempt to press on the council to give them their dues.

The Daily Times is reliably informed that the arrears date back to 2013.

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But the council continues to struggle its way through as it only manages to square a person or two every week.

The development is not going down well with some of the would-be beneficiaries at the height of reports of extravagance at the city council.

Last month, the council is reported to have splashed about K1.5 million of unbudgeted for allowances for officials from the Ministry of Local Government following a directive from Capital Hill.

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In January last year, the council came under fire after it sent seven of its officials on a five-car convoy to grace the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation’s function in Blantyre

One of the pensioners who The Daily Times caught up with and who asked to be identified as Lovemore Simwaka attributed the development to the council’s recklessness.

He argued that the extravagance at the MCC is evidence that the council does raise enough money but has its priorities upside down

“It is unfair because having served the council diligently for about 20 years, we expect it to be fair on us. We don’t deserve this treatment. We can’t be knocking on their doors like beggars like this!” Simwaka charged.

MCC spokesperson Karen Msiska acknowledged the challenges yesterday but maintained volunteer retirees are worsening the problem.

Out of the K21.9 million which the council owed the ex-employees as of 2013, the council has managed to pay just K12.5 million.

“We are having problems to square those who retired voluntarily because their gratuity was not budgeted for in the financial year they retired. Consequently, they were supposed to give us six months to process the gratuities,” Msiksa explained.

He said the major setback is the huge number of bad debtors which the council has.

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