Police officers providing security in the ongoing phase 4 of the national registration exercise have threatened to withdraw their service from the registration centres due to failure by the National Registration Bureau to pay them their allowances.
The threats have come three days after drivers under the same bureau also staged a sit-in for a similar reason.
Some police officers we spoke to in Mangochi and Machinga complained that they are finding it hard to make ends meet in their various duty stations because they do not have money to survive on.
“We have been dumped without any allowances. This is not fair considering that this is a private job which is funded and we are surprised as to why we are not being paid. It is better for us to go back home because we cannot be begging for food, yet we are working,” said a police officer who did not want to be named.
NRB Spokesperson Norman Fulatira said the bureau will start paying the law enforcers shortly as it is still processing the allowances with the Treasury.
He said unlike other people working on the project, police officers are being paid by funds from Malawi Government that comes in the form of Other Recurrent Transactions (ORT) channelled to the bureau.
“We plead with them to bear with us because we will start paying them shortly. We are currently processing their allowances. We requested Treasury to release K240 million for the activity, but government has released only K94 million. This means that we will also be paying the police officers in phases,” Fulatira said.
The police officers, however, indicate that two weeks is a long time for them to stay away from home without being paid allowances, urging the government against doing things as if the registration were an emergency.
Phase 4 of the registration exercise started in Mangochi on August 11, however, registration staff and security personnel in some centres were deployed on August 9 and 10.
Fulatira, however, assured that the officers will get their dues as soon as government finishes releasing the ORT to the bureau.
According to Fulatira, some police officers who were also working in the previous phases are yet to get their allowances from the bureau.
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