Manicaland PA Under Fire Over Selective Payment Of Idai Relief Allowance To Civil Servants
MUTARE- Manicaland Provincial Administrator Edgar Seenza has come under fire for failing to pay hundreds of civil servants who participated in the Cyclone Idai early response program since March this year, 263Chat can exclusively reveal.
According to a whistle blower, only members of the dreaded National Youth Service have been paid while the rest of government employees are yet to receive their ZWL$140 for services rendered.
Aggrieved civil servants have since threatened to picket at his offices, as they bitterly complain over Seenza’s failure to address them.
One aggrieved civil servant, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they sought audience with the PA’s office to no avail as their allowances including travelling and subsistence have not been paid.
“We’re worried because we have not received any of our allowances since March 16 despite government promising that they would pay us on a monthly basis. I have made claims but nothing has been deposited into my account and when I sought audience with the PA he was very vague on when government is going to pay us.
“There are others who have been paid already, those from the Border Gezi (National Youth Service) and we wonder why there is differential treatment of civil servants yet we all participated in the relief activities.
“We now believe that the PA is not being honest with us over this issue and soon we are going to picket at his office to demand our payments. We used our own resources to go to assist the cyclone victims but now government is ignoring our pleas for payments,” said the civil servants.
However, Seenza scoffed at those claims saying government has made arrangements to manually pay the affected civil servants in batches as the PAYNET system caused unforeseen delays.
Seenza said government was committed to availing funds for all civil servants who worked in the early response programs, and would be settling outstanding payments by June.
He was noncommittal on the number of people who are yet to be paid claiming that only those that provided relief from remote locations were affected by nonpayment.
“That information is partly true on the other hand not true. All the civil servants have to make requisition for their allowances, and since the cyclone relief program those on the ground have been getting their money.
“So, it’s not true that government is failing to pay the civil servants who were in Chimanimani after the cyclone, the correct position is that government has been paying but we had challenges in the PAYNET system that is what slowed down the process.
“We have been paying them ever since the only time we stopped was maybe for one month when we had a challenge with PAYNET system, it’s not because government does not have money.
“So far, we have been paying manually which takes time and we were given extra funds that we are in the process of disbursing,” said Seenza.
Seenza said the issue of PAYNET has even affected payment of suppliers and sub-contractors which provided materials for some rehabilitation works.
“It’s not only the civil servants that are affected but suppliers and subcontractors we have been working with, they are all waiting for payments, everything was affected by the PAYNET system.
“The bottom line is we are going to settle with them even the suppliers we are working flat out to clear the payment and we hope that by end of June the outstanding arrears will have been paid by then.
“We have alerted their leaders and they are aware, we could not go to address individuals but we have appraised their leadership over these challenges that we are having,” he said.