By Nation Reporter
RETIREES of the Ministry of Health in Chipata district are seeking payment of their unsettled allowances more than five years after leaving the service.
The retirees and some widows of the former workers who died without getting their allowances made the appeal to Government yesterday.
They lamented that their sufferings had reached a climax, as their children were now being driven out of school due to non-payment of school fees, while most of them had been evictedfrom their houses by their landlords.
The Ministry of Health in Chipata currently owes retirees huge sums of money in unsettled allowances and this included people who retired from as far back as 2006.
Speaking on behalf of the retirees and widows of the deceased former workers, Charles Phiri a former security officer under Chipata District Health Office appealed to Government to move in and ensure that the former workers were paid as soon as possible.
Mr. Phiri disclosed that more than 20 retirees who retired in 2008 had not yet been paid their long term service bonuses.
He recalled that the Ministry had promised to pay them their money, but despite making so many claim applications, nothing had happened up to now.
“We have made enough efforts to get our money but to no avail, we have suffered a lot, we live a hand-to-mouth existence. Government must intervene so that we can get our allowances and discharge our responsibilities as responsible parents,” he said.
And when contacted for a comment, Chipata District Medical Officer Davies Simwaba admitted that the Ministry in the district was aware of the situation.
Dr. Simwaba confirmed that the district owed retirees, who retired from 2006 to date huge amounts of money.
He explained that the owed amounts was in leave, travel, service bonuses and long term bonuses.
Dr. Simwaba stated that his office only received funding for paying retirees in 2013 and could not pay all the retired workers because the money was not enough.
He, however, assured the retirees that they would get their allowances soon as Government had promised to release funds for paying retirees.
“Yes, it is true that the district owes some retirees more, but I can assure them that Government is looking into this issue, and we hope had it will soon be addressed,” Dr. Simwaba said.