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Treasury to delete 4,024 pensioners from payroll

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Williams Banda

The Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development has indicated that it will delete from the government payroll about 4,024 pensioners who failed to avail themselves during the physical verification exercise it recently carried out.

The ministry’s spokesperson Williams Banda said the process will be effected by next month.

“With the exercise, the government will save K388 million per month. The ones to be affected are those that did not avail themselves during the exercise; however, the number is decreasing after some pensioners are now availing themselves. Those in the diaspora are encouraged to verify their details through the biometric online system,” Banda said.

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He added that the deletion follows the exercise that the Ministry of Finance carried out to validate the existence of pensioners and update the database with correct details such as account numbers and other important information.

A statement signed by Secretary to Treasury Cliff Chiunda indicates that the exercise was conducted using the biometric identification of fingerprints and the national identity cards issued by the National Registration Bureau (NRB), among others.

The exercise was carried out by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the National Audit Office, the Anti-Corruption Bureau, NRB, the Malawi Defence Force, the Malawi Police Service and the Department of Human Resource Management and Development.

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The current government pension payroll contains 37,984 pensioners, and out of these, 33,960 were physically verified.

An investigative report on government pensions, gratuities and terminal benefits by the Auditor General in 2017 revealed that over K3.2 billion in fraudulent payments from the public funds were made in three years ending June 30 2017.

The audit originated from a tip-off about possible fraud concerning gratuity cheques that were processed at the Accountant General’s department but whose beneficiaries appeared not to be genuine retirees at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

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