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Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

This civil laziness must end

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After a month of toiling, every person in the working class looks forward to payday. In a country where people’s salaries are hand to mouth, the importance of the pay cannot be overemphasised.

It is therefore sad to hear that some civil servants will have to wait a bit longer to receive their salaries, all because of the delays by some government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to submit Government Paper No 5A (GP 5A) to office of the Accountant General to commence processing of salaries.

It is disappointing to hear that such government MDAs as National Assembly, Malawi Police Service, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining and all councils except Likoma will receive salaries for the month of August late.

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This is a clear sign of laziness. There are some people within government who just want to carry the tag that they are working in government, yet they are just playing in the same.

These are the people who are fully aware that the GP5A documentation must be submitted by the 5th of every month.

These are the same people who fully know that payment vouchers are supposed to be submitted to the Accountant General by the 16th of every month. What is wrong with them?

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We applaud Treasury for coming out in the open on these issues.

However, what we need is action on people who are sleeping and snoring on the job.

Delays in salaries cause a lot of inconveniences on people, and the best that relevant officials in the civil service can do is to avoid that.

September is a month the school calendar begins in Malawi. August salaries are special in a way that most parents and guardians depend on them for their children and wards’ school fees.

Besides, the more salaries delay, the more people fall into debts. The effects of salary delays are countless.

A police officer who has not received his or her salary on time may not be interested in his job. He will always find ways of sourcing funds for survival. You complain they are corrupt?

Concerns by Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) over recent trends in delayed salaries for the civil servants, are valid.

We agree with the Union’s Secretary General Madalitso Njolomole that government is failing to tame the irresponsible controlling officers.

Already, we are talking about reforms in the public service. Demotivated civil servants may not be interested to be part of that agenda. In the end, what we are going to have are cosmetic successes, which when probed further, we will be finding nothing on the ground.

These delays are indeed an indication that some people are failing to do what is expected of them. And relevant action must be taken on those sleeping on the job.

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