By Linda Kwanjana
Jesuits Refugee Service (JRS), an international refugee entity of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), that is facilitating the provision of formal education to refugees in Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi is suspected to have misused millions of kwachas of teachers fund, this publication has learnt.According to teachers who spoke to this publication, the development was discovered after the institution, JRS announced the contract termination with its employees particularly under education sector, in September.
One of the leaders of the affected teachers under primary school Moses Chimkonde, said among the alleged misused funds including 2022 pension and health insurance money.
JRS contracted Old Mutual to handle pension issues.”After being told of our contract termination, almost all teachers thought following up our pension issues with Old Mutual
Unfortunately, we were shocked to learn that our 9 months cash was not wired,” he explained.
While concurring with Chimkonde, almost all teachers who managed to talk this publication said they managed to involve JRS in the issue for several attempts but to no avail.”Our bosses are taking us for granted.
Maybe because our contract ends next month, December. Or because we don’t have vast knowledge on such issues. But we will keep on fighting,” they disclosed.
They revealed that they have penned Reserve Bank of Malawi on the same.On health insurance fund, teachers from both, primary and secondary claimed that they discovered that there were number of “ghost beneficiaries.”For instance, a teacher who got medical services within the country, recorded to have been referred to India and spend millions of kwachas.Apart from that, some male teachers were recorded as if they were receiving maternity services.
The whole move according to teachers was to scam their health insurance money.”Up to now, our bosses are yet to address us. That’s when we thought of engaging the media,” they narrated.JRS country director, Caroline Kayira Kulemeka said in 2022 there was funding gap hence the anomalies.
“Funding to cover this gap has since been identified and JRS is working with Old Mutual to resolve the problem,” she said.However, teachers wondered how the same organization was able to give them part of salary the whole year and without explanation.They also question the organization’s failure to explain the development the same year or during the time they were informing them about their contract termination saying “that not applicable.
“On health insurance fund, Kulemeka vehemently denied to issue a comment saying the matter is still under investigations.Social commentators while describing the development as sad and unacceptable, ask stakeholders under education sector to immediately intervene on the matter.
According to them, the development will affect classes for learners.