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Teachers Union of Malawi faces legal action

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In the wake of growing resentment among Ministry of Education staff in the country, it has come to light that some beleaguered teachers are ganging up to seek court intervention to restrain the Teachers Union of Malawi (Tum) from collecting monthly subscription fees until government remits their owed dues.

One of the teachers championing the court action Joel Maguluka who teaches at Mzuzu Government Secondary School told The Daily Times that cutting the lifeline to Tum’s finances would force the teachers’ body to take a decisive stand against the government’s dilly-dallying on the teacher’s outstanding arrears.

The government is reported to owe its civil servants in the teaching sector close to K25O million in leave grants and salary arrears after promotion or salary adjustment, among others.

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“We have mobilised support for the cause and we believe this will pressurise the Tum leadership to seriously look into our plight,” Maguluka said.

He said the union has failed to provide hope at a time teachers are beginning to lose hope on whether the government would be able to settle their dues.

Tum President Chauluka Muwake, however, said teachers should exercise patience as the union has been engaging the government at the highest level.

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“We’re engaging authorities at the highest level. We acknowledge that the issue has taken long to resolve,” Muwake said.

He hinted that some payroll discrepancies and the ongoing financial problems in the government were standing in the way of government’s ability to pay the teachers their dues.

“There is an audit currently underway. We expect to see some progress once the audit is concluded,” he said.

The demand for unremitted dues has been ongoing for years, with officials blaming the government’s financial woes for the mess.

Ministry of Finance spokesperson, Alfred Kutengule, told The Daily Times in an interview yesterday that some of the money the government owes teachers has been paid.

“Due to cash flow problems in the government, the money has been remitted in bits and pieces,” Kutengule said.

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