SOME teachers are getting loans from more than two financial institutions, a situation that makes it difficult for government to deduct statutory obligations from their salaries. M i n i s t r y o f G e n e r a l Education human resource director Teddy Mutengo said the ministry has discovered that some teachers submit their colleagues’ payslips to acquire the loans.
Mr Mutengo said this yesterday when Ministry o f G e n e r a l E d u c a t i o n Permanent Secretary Jabbin Mulwanda led the ministry to make a submission before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC). The 2018 Auditor General’s report revealed that 16 teachers in Central Province received net pays which were less than 40 percent of their basic pay. “When a teacher goes to a financial institution to get a loan, he or she is given forms which are supposed to be signed by us [employer].
However, we have situations where the teachers use their friends’ payslips to get loans. “They used to come to the headquarters so we could process their loans. But now we have told them to do it from their districts. We have also urged financial institutions to ensure that they engage us before giving out loans,” he said. And Central Province education officer Jenifer Banda said the province has challenges following the introduction of electronic payslips. She said unlike in the past, teachers now print their own payslips and hand them over to microfinance companies without the knowledge of the PEO’s office. And Dr Mulwanda said six provincial education officers have effected recoveries on the over K3 million which was paid to 317 officers who were accommodated in institutional houses as shown by the Auditor General.
He said the ministry has stopped the practice of paying housing allowances to officers who are not entitled. Dr Mulwanda also said the ministry has written to the Ministry of Health to constitute medical boards for eight officers who had not been recommended for retirement. The officers stopped working due to illnesses between 2016 and 2018, but drew salaries worth K810,978 as of September this year. M e a n w h i l e , P A C chairperson Howard Kunda questioned Dr Mulwanda for submitting half-baked responses to queries cited in the Auditor General’s report. M r K u n d a s a i d t h e committee will recommend to Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba to deal with Ministry of General Education queries in accordance with the law. “PS, don’t you know that your ministry has got the biggest chunk of queries cited in the Auditor General’s report? You need to be in charge and give us the respect we deserve. “How can you give us a job of photocopying evidence for you? That is not our job, let us be serious,” he said.