Cash-strapped Malawi Government is now failing to come up with money for salaries and other costs for fifty five Community Development Assistants (CDA) and this emerges as another large hurdle government is facing.
Government through ministry of gender, children, disability and social welfare hired CDAs from Magomero College in the month of June but they have now gone unpaid for five months.
According to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity, government is owing them thousands of Kwachas each.
The figure will continue to accumulate if they aren’t paid again this month despite that almost everyone has reported to their designated area of post.
“We have even been head counted by the government but the surprise is that we are not receiving our payments,” added the source.
Speaking with this reporter, Principal Secretary in the ministry of gender, children, disability and social welfare, Dr Mary Shaba, agreed that CDAs have not been paid.
However, she refuted that the delay is due to the economic meltdown government is facing.
She further denied to reveal the outstanding total sum of money government is supposed to pay all the CDAs.
Every CDA, once hired, is supposed to report to a designated area and the supervising officer writes government that the CDA has reported in the district.
Once the Ministry receives the letter they are included on the payroll.
Said Shaba: “It is true because the procedure is that when you are hired, first of all you go for interviews. If you pass you are informed that you have been recruited. But we noted that most of the CDAs reported late despite being appointed in June. Up to date, some of their letters have not yet come to the ministry to be included on the payroll.”
However, she assured the CDAs that those that have been approved by supervising officers will receive their salaries at the end of December.
Shaba added that for those not approved, they should wait for another month for government to consider them on the payroll. “They can only go on the payroll when the supervising officer writes the ministry that they have reported and must be included on the payroll. I am aware that all those who reported before December will receive their salary this month and it’s on the paper. The payment depend on the time they report for duty. Some would just say they have reported but they are not in the office,” she said while indicating that the process aims at getting rid of ghost workers.
Community development workers help communities to bring about social change and improve the quality of life in their local area. They work with individuals, families and whole communities to empower them to: identify their assets, needs, opportunities, rights and responsibilities; plan what they want to achieve and take appropriate action and to develop activities and services to generate aspiration and confidence.
A community development worker often acts as a link between communities and a range of other local authority and voluntary sector providers, such as the police, social workers and teachers.
They are frequently involved in addressing inequality, and projects often target communities perceived to be culturally, economically or geographically disadvantaged.