LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-German Technical Cooperation (GIZ) faces Malawi media’s backlash for failing to honor Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit’ reporting workshop allowances
Scores of journalists who attended a three-day training workshop have not received daily subsistence allowances (DSAs), close to a month after the training and 10 days after the summit.
The Ministries of Information and Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation organized the training workshop with funding from GIZ.
The development has raised fear and suspicion among the concerned journalists that officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation might have swindled the money.
The journalists are angry with GIZ petty excuses when following up the matter.
Prior to the training, officials from the two ministries advised the invited journalists to provide their bank account details, which they duly did.
The official indicated that GIZ would deposit US$120 into the bank account of each of the invited journalist.
The amount would cater for transport, meals and accommodation.
However, this did not happen until the date of arrival on 29 July 2021. The officials assured the journalists that their allowances would be deposited into their accounts the following day.
This, too, was another blue lie! Fed up with false promises and endless assurances, journalists on Friday demanded that they talk to GIZ themselves to find out what is causing the delay in disbursing the allowances.
“Good morning GIZ family, who has received money on Friday and today as promised. Till today, August 28, 2021 no penny into my account,” quelled Taonga Sabola of Times Group.
Watipaso Mzungu of Nyasa Times chipped in, “We are not questioning about the source of money. Our problems are with the lame excuses we are being fed here over the delay in disbursement of the DSAs. Should we assume that all professionals have been affected by this delay or its just the media because they look miserable in the officials of government.
“And why would the ministries of information and foreign affairs and international cooperation choose to take a backseat when their so-called key stakeholders are their rights violated? These are our innocent questions”.
But an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Evelyn Nyerere, yet again assured them that the Accounts Officer from GIZ was at the bank depositing the cash.
“Afternoon, am told that the Accounts Officer is at the bank now. So a good number will get the notifications this evening and others mawa [Friday, August 27, 202] and others on Monday depending on your banks,” announced Nyerere on Thursday, August 26, much to the excitement of the depressed journalists.
Nyerere maintained that the money has not been swindled.
“The money is coming from GIZ not from government,” she said.
But by close of business on Friday even Saturday, August 28, 2021 none of the over 40 journalists has received such a notification. The status quo remains the same to date.
Both Ministers of Information and Foreign Affairs Eisenhower Mkaka and Gospel Kazako respectively are yet to intervene on the matter.
However, angry journalists have vowed tooth and nail to seek justice on the matter even engaging office of Ombudsman.
This publication understands that GIZ is fond of torturing participants when sponsoring a conference or workshop with late allowances payment.