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Govt Owes Adult Literacy Instructors K3.2 bn

file photo file photo - adult literacy learning in progress

Government has admitted it owes at least K3.2 billion in honoraria arrears to adult literacy instructors.

Deputy Director of Community Development responsible for Adult Literacy and Education Services in the Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Charles Mkunga, said the figure is likely to go down as some instructors were paid their arrears.

He said the arrears accumulate from 2017 after government adjusted their honoraria from K2, 000 to K15, 000.

“There were some discrepancies at the time the instructors were introduced on government payroll in 2017 and we asked the Department of Human Resources Management and Development (DHRMD) and internal auditors to verify names of all instructors and their arrears and then send their report to treasury for payment processes,” said Mkunga

He said in civil service, arrears are paid upon verification exercise jointly carried by the DHRMD and internal auditors.

“We are glad to report that the verification exercise ended last month and we are optimistic that the arrears will be settled soon,” said Mkunga.

An adult literacy instructor from Mangochi, Katuleni Nkhoma, told Zodiak Online that government has been failing to meet its promises on honoring their arrears since February, 2017.

“In 2017, we were asked to open bank accounts but since then no money has gone into our accounts and we are now tired of asking our honoraria at the District Community Development Office and though we are not receiving anything, we are still teaching the learners as volunteers,” said Nkhoma. 

In Thyolo, Catherine Banda, a former adult literacy instructor who was among instructors dismissed in 2019 due to lack of required academic papers said efforts to claim their honoraria arrears between K140, 000 and K320, 000 are yielding negative results.

“We know how these boys in government offices play with their computers but whether it’s K320, 000 or K140, 000 what we want is our money,” said Banda.    

Currently there are 9, 633 adult literacy instructors, each managing one class.

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