Malawi government has described the story titled “APM’s Aides in MK307 million package” that appeared in the Weekend Nation of January 23, 2016 as inaccurate and false.
Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Jappie Mhango, released a statement to the media on Wednesday which sources say was drafted by Ntaba, accusing the influential national weekly of such peddling “misinformation” and an outright betrayal of the many Malawians who unsuspiciously and innocently read news purely on trust that they are reading facts and truth.
“The public is reminded that the President reduced the number of Ministers from twenty four (24) in Joyce Banda’s Government to the current sixteen (16), and from six (6) Deputy Ministers to the current two (2) Deputy Ministers.
“Lest we forget, the size of cabinet once hit a record of forty-six (46) members in the past. The surviving truth is that Peter Mutharika’s austerity measures and reduction of cabinet is saving huge sums of money and these savings cannot be undermined by the misinformed opinion being created around the President’s professional supporting staff,” reads the statement in part.
According to the statement, the savings that government has made has come to MK28,039,992. from the eight (8) Ministers and MK11,835,268. from the four (4) Deputy Ministers, giving a total savings of MK39,875,260. per month.
“The packages include salaries; and allowances for housing, fuel, and telephone; pensions; driver; as well as motor vehicle running expenses. We have also included costs for personal staff such as the Personal Assistant, office Secretary and a personal Security Guard,” reads the statement.
On motor vehicle servicing expenses, it states that the cost per service is about MK450,000 and the average is about three services per year, computing to a monthly saving of MK1,800,000 from servicing the cars of these twelve Cabinet members i.e. the eight ministers and four deputy ministers that have been deleted.
Further, it states that there are also substantial savings being realized in the merging of Ministries, for instance, an analysis of the merger of Ministries that covered Mining, Energy, Environmental Affairs, and Climate Change revealed total annual savings of MK112,786,840, or MK9,398,903 per month.
It articulates, “This exercise is going on in other merged Ministries and we expect other substantial savings to be revealed there as well. The grand total amount of monthly savings shall therefore be MK9,398,903 from merging ministries, plus MK39,875,260 from reduced number of cabinet ministers and MK1,800,000 from servicing reduced number of ministerial ministers. This comes to a grand total savings of MK51,074,663.”
The Mutharika administration further stresses that there are only two Presidential Advisers and Assistants at Grade C of the Civil Service. The rest are: Another two at grade D, and eleven at grade E of the civil service, saying allegation that most of them are at P2 is therefore a calculated distortion and falsehood.
“The sum total for the monthly packages are MK3,699,604 for the two (grade C officers), MK2,460,024 for the two (grade D officers), and MK10,837,211 for the eleven (grade E officers). Depending on the Civil Servants entitlements and grades, these packages will include fuel, telephone allowances, and where applicable, Personal Secretary and a Driver with a vehicle.
“Only eleven of them have vehicles, which comes to a monthly car service bill of MK1,650,000. The total monthly expenditure for the Presidential Aides comes to MK18,646,839.”
According to the statement, the net monthly savings, after the cabinet reduction savings of MK51,074,663 and the Presidential Aides expenditure of MK18,646,839 now comes to MK32,427,824. On an annual basis, this is MK389,133,888.
“The expenses for the Presidential aides certainly do not, and cannot, cancel the savings from the cabinet reduction as has been alleged from some quarters. Sadly, these facts were provided the first time the false story was published before being regurgitated two years later now,” the government stressed in the statement.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :