Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers have written a letter to Malawi president, Dr Lazarus Chakwera, demanding the government to pay them their outstanding peacekeeping allowances.
According to the soldiers, the money was borrowed by the government during the Peter Mutharika administration.
This is contained in a letter dated 20th July 2020 and addressed to Chakwera, Vice President Chilima, Malawi Army General and rights group HDRC.
The soldiers say they were deployed to Democratic Republic of Congo in July 2014, and returned to Malawi in May 2015.
“Our legitimate expectation was to receive money not less than K8.5million and we were 850 of us in number.
“But contrary to general expectations, we were only paid K3.9 million in three instalments over a period of five months,” reads part of the letter.
The soldiers added that they were told by the MDF that the government had borrowed the money in order to buy maize since it was expected that hunger would hit the country in the 2015/16 growing season.
The soldiers were promised that government will pay back the money but it is yet to do so.
According to the soldiers, at one point they were told that they should be redeployed back to war in order to cover for the money which was borrowed.
The soldiers also claim that some of the money that was borrowed was found in one politician’s house.
“Your Excellency sir, we want our money back. It was against our rights to borrow our allowances for governments’use without our consent. Where in the world does a government borrow individual’s money? Worse still, without their consent?” reads part of the letter.
The Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Agriculture fouled on us; they took advantage of our discipline and professionalism to ferociously wreck our allowances.”
The soldiers have since demanded the Chakwera administration to pay back the money within the next 31 days.