Donors question government on huge golden goodbye payments
By Amalawi - Thu Feb 28, 10:47 am
By our reporter,
Malawi: When President Joyce Banda returned home from Equatorial Guinea she was asked why her government is making huge payments to individuals she had fired when she assumed power. She did not have an answer and instead she referred the question to the Minister of Justice Mr Kasambara who did not have an answer either. He simply blamed the media on printing wrong figures in the papers.
Facts are now catching up and reality is kicking in as Malawi’s key donors on Wednesday raised the same question; the donors went further and faulted the government on these exorbitant payouts. Most recipients of these payouts had their contracts terminated by the Joyce Banda administration.
Most contracts were terminated in revenge and without dual regard to individual’s contract. This has now backfired and it is costing the Malawi tax payer a lot of money.
The donors through the German ambassador Peter Woeste have described the payouts are “unjustified” in the current economic environment. They fail to understand why individuals are being sent on gardening leave with a huge golden goodbye.
The donors say this sends a wrong message that while many are suffering, a lucky few are able to gain and even prosper,” said Peter Woeste. He further said “Naturally, this large payouts causes resentment and dissatisfaction and undermines the efforts of government to handle the economic crisis.”
Reacting to the concerns raised by the donors, Minister of Finance Ken Lipenga and his deputy Ralph Jooma, said government has the responsibility to ensure that its actions do not result in ‘sinking the economy’. He did not explain further.
Civil society organisations commented on the issue by recommending that the provisions for termination of contracts need to be critically looked into, they said there is need reconcile the high costs being experienced against the reportedly growing list of potential compensations and payouts. </p>