Malawi Forum for Voiceless raps Mutharika’s band of advisers ‘mockery to tax-payers’

The Malawi Forum for the Voiceless has expressed discontent over President Professor Peter Mutharika’s recent hiring of people as his advisers.

Many commentators have faulted Mutharika for appointing the bloated team of advisors deemed as continued trend of patrimonial leadership and politics of appeasement where groups of people feed off the State through a president who plays the role of a patron.

Government through Minister of Information, Civic Education and Tourism, Kondwani Nankhumwa said critics were not in sync with the “correct information” on the presidential advisors perks “before seizing their right of expressing themselves.”

But the Forum maintained the move is a waste of tax-payers money arguing, the hiring of the advisers by the new administration is just aimed at compensating the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) loyalists.

Vuwa Kuanda:  Presidential adviser

Vuwa Kuanda: Presidential adviser

In a statement released on Thursday, director of Malawi Forum for the Voiceless Ebenezer Chimpere said after two months in administration, the DPP government has already victimized the voiceless at a cost.

Reads the statement in part: “After the tripartite elections, what used to be a smile of hope on the country’s face is turning into a river of tears. If one takes a critical look at the situation one would believe and feel sorry for the mockery that the manifesto carried during campaign.”

Chimpere adds in his statement that civil servants are still waiting in vain for their 50 percent salary increment from the new administration and continue living in dire poverty.

He then saluted the President “reclaiming the economic struggle by adopting Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 20-member cabinet plan.”

On political appointments, the statement urges the Mutharika administration to emphasize on appointments on merit as recently circulars have been issued to people serving in embassies outside the country.

“Our interest would be to see a complete set of civil servants making the replacements on merit. The voiceless clearly knows that these changes are in exercising political appeasement that is to cost the tax-payers more in addressing the contractual contents attached to the appointed officials,” the statement further reads.

Minister of Information, Civic Education and Tourism, said Mutharika government is however committed to “ deliver service to the people of Malawi within the available resources through elimination of waste in use of public resources, guard against theft of public resources and ensuring that there is value for money in every Government transaction.”

 

Nankhumwa appealed commentators and critics  to make  public pronouncements only when they have accessed correct information.

 

“There is no responsibility in exercising the right to free expression by churning out falsehoods, distortions and fabrications,” said Nankhumwa.
Presidential advisors include  Chief Advisors at Grade D/P2 goes homewith a monthly salary of K402,441 per month and this comprises of Francis Mphepo as Chief Political Advisor, former Malawi Broadcasting Corporation boss Bright Malopa as Chief Advisor on Communication and Strategy and Dr. Collins Magalasi as Chief Economic Advisor.

On the next tier are special advisors Symon Vuwa Kaunda for National Unity and Parliamentary Affairs, Nick Masebo on Youth and Wiktor Songazaudzu Sajeni on Capacity Building and at Grade E/P3, their salaries are at K352,910 per month.

Another special advisor at Grade E/P4 is Annie Makuta on Women whose salary is at K308,505 per month.

However, government has not divulged the salaries for two special assistants Ben Phiri and Mavuto Bamusi.

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