By Esnath Kalawe:
A grouping of Concerned Teachers of Malawi has threatened to withdraw their membership to Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) citing failure by the Union to produce a report on how it (the Union) has been managing membership money for the last 10 years.
The action is a way of pressurising the Union to release the report.
The teachers have written a follow-up letter to TUM demanding transparency and accountability in TUMs office.
In a letter dated 18th January, 2021 which Malawi News Agency (MANA) has seen, the concerned teachers have requested for the financial report on the management of the membership fees which is deducted from their salaries.
“For the last 10 consecutive years the Union has abandoned us by not giving us a report on financial management as owners of the money,” reads the letter in part.
The teachers were expecting TUM to provide them with a response addressing their concerns and demands within a space of five days but that hasnt been done.
In a recent letter dated 26th January, 2020 the Concerned Teachers of Malawi are requesting the Union to provide them with information on three issues.
The issues are a well detailed financial report on how the Union spent teachers money, give a report on how the government responded on issue of risk allowances, promotion of long serving and self upgraded teachers, and an explanation on the criteria the Union uses for one to became a member as most teachers cannot remember when they filled membership forms with TUM.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA), Concerned Teachers of Malawi Secretary General, Azeez Losa, confirmed to have written a follow up letter to TUM.
He said failure to address their concerns the teachers will be left with no option but withdraw their membership from the Union.
“We are following up a letter that we wrote to TUM reminding them to provide us a report on several issues including how they are managing deducted money among other issues. Failure to address our concerns, as teachers, we are withdrawing our membership from the Union,” said Losa.
TUM President, Willie Malimba, said the Union has not received any recent mail but was quick to acknowledge that the office received the first letter dated 18th January which has not been responded to yet.
“Our offices are closed due to Covid-19, and as National Executive we need to meet and analyze the letter and come up with a response. We will check the recent mail,” Malimba explained.
He further said “there is no any other institution which comes up with deductions and whatsoever in public. TUM is an audited organization which comes out with a report comprising all deductions and whatsoever, and circulate to all districts where they can read.”