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New payroll delays council salaries

Staff working in all councils across the country will have to wait a little longer to access their January salaries as implementation of the new payroll has affected the timely processing of last month’s salaries.

This has happened as the councils have failed to process their employees’ salaries after the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development moved the payroll to councils as part of the decentralisation process.

A statement that the ministry has issued, however, assures that the government in conjunction with authorities responsible for payroll and salary processing are working on the problem to ensure that council employees get their salaries without further delay.

“The new processing of salaries comes in due to the adoption of the 1998 National Decentralisation Policy and passing by Parliament of the Local Government Act (LGA) that provides for a legal basis for the policy implementation, through local councils, the same year. Among other objectives, the policy intends to enhance the service delivery by government,” the statement reads.

The ministry’s spokesperson Muhlabase Mughogho said the delay has affected all councils except those from the Shire Highlands Division districts of Mulanje, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Phalombe, and Chikwawa.

“The policy and LGA therefore give district councils the mandate to manage their resources including human resources effective December 2016. The government, therefore, transferred staff establishments and payroll from Central Government to Local Authorities. This transfer means that each council should prepare and process salaries for its employees using own payroll. The ministry regrets any inconvenience caused by this delay,” Mughogho said.

The government started implementing the devolution of payrolls to councils in key sectors of education, health and agriculture, which successfully started managing the payroll and resources.

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