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Treasury angers ex- Malawi Young Pioneers

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Former officers for the defunct Malawi Young Pioneers (MYP) have accused the Treasury of cheating them on their terminal benefits.

MYP task force leader Franco Chilemba said they are not amused that the Treasury has failed to honour the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe’s promise to pay the ex-MYPs from April 14 this year.

MYP was a paramilitary wing during the one-party regime and was made part of the Ministry of Youth at the onset of multiparty democracy.

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After disbanding MYP, the government made the officers civil servants and therefore entitled to terminal benefits as all other civil servants.

According to the officers, who are 2,765 in total, the calculations show that the government owes them about K1.6 billion.

Gondwe met the officers on April 4 this year and assured them of payments effective April 14.

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Chilemba said due to the broken promise, the ex-MYPs from across the country are expected to converge on the Capital Hill for a vigil until they receive their dues.

“Unfortunately, when we went there [Capital Hill] on 20th April, we found that there was nothing tangible happening to ensure that our payments are done. That is what has forced us to go back to the Capital Hill on Tuesday, 2 May 2017, for a vigil to force them to pay us,” Chilemba said.

He said the ex-officers, who have been fighting for their payments for over 10 years, feel they have done enough of discussions and what they want now is implementation.

But Treasury Spokesperson Alfred Kutengule said when Gondwe made the promise on April 14, he thought everything was fine until the director of pensions called for proper scrutiny before payments.

According to Kutengule, the director of pensions said some of the officers already received their money and there was need to clean up the list first.

“There is a mix-up as others on the list already received their pensions. So, currently we are in the process of cleaning up the list to ensure that we are paying those who did not receive. Our target is May and we even explained this to their leadership,” Kutengule said.

MYP, which was involved in agriculture, general development and military activities, was demilitarised in 1993 in a process dubbed Operation Bwezani.

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