Malawi MPs paid full while on part-time, queries NICE

National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Executive Director, Ollen Mwalubunju, has questioned why Malawian parliamentarians are being given a full-time salary when they work as part-timers.

Malawi MPs 'do not work full time'

Malawi MPs ‘do not work full time’

Mwalunju made the comment in his weekly newspaper column, ‘Democracy Forum’, published by The Nation newspaper .

In his entry for this week which he titled “MPs must be paid for their correct job description” Mwalubunju was commenting the debate on whether MPs deserve pay rise when the country is facing financial difficulties.

“Fairness in the remuneration of MPs must also be looked at in terms of the actual work that our MPs do in comparison to other public service workers. A nurse, for example, works for five days a week and at least 8 hours a day. How does that compare to our MPs?” Mwalubunju wrote.

He added: “It appears that our esteemed representatives are paid a salary for “a full time job” when they are not at work the same amount of time as an average worker.”

The NICE boss said because Malawian MPs do not work full time, it is possible for them to have second jobs or do consultancies earning even more income, a privilege other public service workers do not have.

“As Malawians we must decide, whether to have our MPs as part-timers (with no or minimal pay) or as full time employees remunerated properly, he said.

According to him, if MPs are going to be regarded as full-timers, they must work for us on a full-time basis, and not be allowed to divide their time between parliamentary work and other jobs.

“Otherwise, doing other jobs, and earning extra income while being paid a full time job salary is tantamount to moonlighting,” he added.

Mwalubunju said he is of the view that MPs must not be the ones deciding whether their own pay should be increased.

“What we need is a body independent of parliament to look into the work that our MPs do and accordingly determine how that work should be translated into pay.

“ For reasons of fairness, the same body should perhaps do similar work complete with recommendations for all other public servants,” Mwalubunju suggested.

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99 thoughts on “Malawi MPs paid full while on part-time, queries NICE”

  1. Mbuyache says:

    If pipo stop worrying MP’s for fee’s, coffins, njala, transports, paper Sundays just to mention a few then wat they were earning is fine, other wise they av a life 2, owe was nice tell us how much u earn n just waiting for elections to work, u shud b the one on partime

  2. Denja says:

    Very true they r robing people

  3. Mwenecho says:

    musova opposition is strong

  4. Which constituency do they travel to and doing what with who?really?paid for being elected.This is nutritious food for thought,fellow country this debate needs enough time and resources than the ethinic,divisive and unenterprising federalism debate which is heading for an early grave.If Malawi is to move from the present pangs of abject poverty to a a milkhoney prosperty,then,all sectors needs overhaul and restructuring-equal pay for equal work.

  5. chakwera kabwira says:

    In UK and South Africa, MPS go to Parliament daily (Mondays-Fridays) and Fridays evening all parade to their respective constituencies to interact with people on Saturdays and Sundays and then back to parliament on Mondays. They are paid for working in their offices at the Parliament building. The design of our parliament has 193 offices in tact. But what do we see? They are busy going abroad kokalalikira (Chakwera and his concubines) and some kogulitsa kaunjika and ordering Dubai cars. They should only be paid when they clock in at parliament gate. Otherwise, they dont deserve any pay. A most shameful thing is that most of these MPS are very block even on their pay days. One (MCP) MP is even failing to honour debts and wages for his workers. Very shameful of an honourable MP indeed. Chakwera was challenging can work without pay. Let him not cash from parliament and parliament should freeze his salary, tione ngati sausiya uMP. MPs are thieves

  6. mwewo woyiba says:

    nice boss you have spoken words of wisdom. these mps once elected into power, they. become thieves (akawalala), let us stop them by reworking our constitution,

  7. Namalila says:

    Much as I agree with the facts highlighted by Owen, I feel the problem is not with the particular MPs per say.
    Problems are with our system and constitution. Really needs to change.
    This change has to be implemented now but should be effected in the next tenure for fear of hitting a snug.

  8. EYES says:

    This is an interesting subject otherwise I would propose that respective arms of government should not decided their own perks but a body comprising proffessionals like economists and accountants who should first of all examine all the financial status and see how much can be paid depending on workload and other consideration like economic status.

  9. Twaniche says:

    Ndiye titani a malawi

  10. Twaniche says:

    True true true. Malawians lets open our eyes. These so called mps are not supposed to get full salaries. What do they do? Teachers in rural areas getting k40,000, and wina ali phee kunyumba waiting 4 parliament sitting getting k1m, realy unfair.

  11. Keen Observer says:

    I salute the author & to be more precise most of them are under qualified so why should they earn all that public money? People without even a first degree?????

  12. Tamzy says:

    Dikilani Mukadzakhala ma MP mudzawone kuti anthuwa akugwiradi vep only that much of there work requires them to be traveling to there constituents and interacting with the pple they represent to appreciate their issues unlike nurses or teachers who r glued to a hospital or class room

    1. Change Now says:

      So u want to tell us they should be paid that much for merely “traveling to their constituency to APPRECIATE peoples problems”? Malawian way of thinking! Very daft!

  13. fumu yatonga says:

    Brilliant thinking Mr mwaubulunju malawi nid gr8 thinker lyk u. am not being jealous of their post, but wat we nid z de truth. Even them they can pay their own gardeners full payment while doing go 4 2 hours. The bottom line z dis full time jobs done full amount payment they should get

  14. macd says:

    i propose that mwalubunju should go on a study tour to ykenya singapore and united kingdom to learn how dey do it

  15. chimwani says:

    lets talk guyz, this is parliament gate, they should all panished for robbin malawians.

  16. Muchizi John says:

    And they get 1000 litres of fuel per month when they live in their constituencies and get housing allowances when they in their village house. Typical greed and you expect them to represent your interests. Mayazi zosatheka anthuwa ndi mbava basi. How does one who is a servant of the citizens raise his/her own salary. It does not happen anywhere except in Malawi

  17. andrew says:

    our mps are very selfish.They always think about their own belies, yet when they are on the house all they know is to make uselles noise like children.I agree with mwaluunju that thise must ne payed as parttimers, not full timers for they wolk as “aganyu”

  18. ganimunthu says:

    Sometimes when people don’t know what they are taking, they become miserable. Please go to the parliamentary act and see what it was to be an MP. It’s very shameful that somebody like you should talk like that .to be an MP it’s way different from being a nurse or an accountant.
    When we talk about representation,legislation and oversight we don’t mean going to the office everyday. Please tiyeni
    Tiyeni tiwasiye anthu awa. After all tinawavotela nse olo tiwanene no change will come.

    1. Ruo River says:

      Hahaha I guess you must be an MP yourself. For starters the fact that something is in the constitution does not always mean that it’s right otherwise why are parts of the constitution amended? When you talk about interaction with constituents please be honest that you only interact with your constituency committee and perhaps few supporters of your party. As for oversight my foot! That’s where you guys steal a lot of taxpayers money. You make long programs to do work you could have done just for a few days. During the committee meetings more than half of the members are dozing and those awake asking often silly and irrelevant questions. I am a Civil Servant and therefore know what am talking about.

  19. Byson Moya says:

    Yes MPs need not tp be paid full time salary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Kenn says:

    Open up our minds these mps work like tobacco seasonal buyers deserving so much?

  21. jubeki says:

    Who knows and or regulate the president daily timetable? DDos he work on daily basis? Appropriate duties in all those days?

  22. Stanley says:

    Agree baba

  23. davs says:

    problem of our leaders in malawi: zabwino zonse amafuna zizikuala ndi iwo.
    khalani ndi umunthu! aganizireni aziphunzitsi mwachisanzo, amagwira ntchito yotamandika koma kandalama kakenso,ena awa miyezi yambiri mbiri sakulandira…aaaaaaa amalawi!

  24. Mtupatupa says:

    The world is unfair! Indeed the whole world pay the MPs like full time workers becoz they call thier job as risky job and becoz they debate their own pay hike themselves. Its one arm of gvt which have powers to raise their salaries and yet they have no one to look upon their performance in and outside the August house. I would also propose that frm the Head of State, Cabinet Ministers, to the Member of Parliament be entittled to PAYE, THIS THE ONLY WAY THESE FORKS WILL MAKE SURE THAT THE TAX MONEY IS PUT TO GOOD USE AND THEY COULD FEEL PAIN WHEN THE FUNS IS MISUSE, they would make sure that local hospitals have all the medical drugs required. These people make themsel-ves above the law.

  25. charles says:

    Malawians are driven by envy no wonder nothing is working out in this country. Are you sure you want MPs to work for Mahala? I dont think it will make any sense.

  26. Jimmy says:

    I have never seen any seriousness in Malawi Mps all they are after is high pay nothing else.For example Kenyan Mps are the highest paid in Africa,bcz of their work in Parliament not jst sit whole day eating (non-contributive) and expect high pay at the end.Shirts are torn,water is poured to the deputy speaker, Brawls exchanged for the betterment of the country not for a joke as it happened recently in Kenya.We need active Mps not sleeping ones,who are after enriching themselves. Fok

  27. Former MCP says:

    We wld like answers indeed. I have never seen my MP, so I wld like to see and hear what other MPs r doing. I don’t give a monkeys even if I saw Lowe my MP in my constituency giving sweets. What I want is proper leaders on development. U don’t have to be in the ruling party to undertake developments, MPs can lead do much on basic small developments eg soya growing which does not require much fertilizer and they can find outside markets for us which r more profitable but what r they doing? Phwiiii and we shld set targets with them then we can measure if they r actually working

  28. Jimmy says:

    Opposition Mps seem to have forgotten why they are in Parliament.All these issues could have been raised by them before,but since they have been put something in their mouths by this Corrupt & shameless President,they think are above all.

  29. High percent MCP says:

    The most intelligent debate I have seen on this forum for a very long time. We shld not drop this top ten agenda. We need a refund from these thieves and sitting allowance shld be banned with immediate effect other wise teachers shld have sitting allawance for teaching. It’s the same and even better for teachers as we can actually see what they do – what do MPs do that benefits the pipo of Malawi?

  30. M'Malawi weniweni says:

    I for one,1000% agree with Mr. Mwalumbunju on this. Think of Teacher Training College Lecturers who are working even during the holidays with the introduction of the ODL Program yet their salaries are so pathetic. Having worked over 20 years one hardly hits K100,000 per month. Leave Grants are as pathetic and sometimes never paid at all yet these MPs start with very high salaries yet they work on part time basis and demand a large percentage of increments but when civil servants demand the same, Parliament is so reluctant to approve and if they do, they are just peanuts. These people demotivate us greatly as they never value our contribution to the country’s development. To get a loan, one has to sweat and if one manages to get a loan, it is deducted from the salary yet these part timers just get everything on silver platter and never even pay back. This is very unfair. As for nurses, medical assistants and doctors, they work tooth and nail to save lives and even during the night but the work of teachers and medical personnel is often overlooked. A teacher teaches students, after school, they join politics and within a few months, they are richer than their teachers. The work they claim to do if you follow closely, is campaign for their parties and positions which has nothing to do with the work they are supposed to do. Should we all become politicians? Who makes these politicians if I may ask? It is better for MPs to look back from where are coming and thank the teachers who made them what they are otherwise this is daylight robbery because most of the times they also miss parliamentary sessions for reasons best known to themselves yet they get full salaries as if they work full time.

  31. kambilonjo says:

    True people maps are but imitators who pockets lots of money for no job at all. They control their financial increments and tread others for mere personal gains. let’s work something suitable for them

  32. opportunist says:

    I don’t even understand as to why they are paid for.

  33. Macbusy macbusy Mr 9 says:

    That’s mps are thieves

  34. Vyachalo says:

    compare MP and a nurse. Who works more hours? I agree what he has said by mwalubunju

  35. Man to man says:

    These MPs are thieves…The other thing that I hate about them is when they demand sitting allowance while they are doing their job in their office; in this case parliament..This is quite nonsense, daylight robbery….kuba moopseza ndi uphungu

  36. titani says:

    Yeah ppo used to think,hats off Mwalubunju

  37. Mchawa says:

    Well said Mr Mwalubunju, Malawi really needs people like you and just to add up to what you have said I think its also high time that our Constitution has to be amended that no any political party which has not gone through an election and be elected by the majority of Malawians should form or become a ruling party as it has been the case in the past where we saw parties like DPP and PP becoming the ruling parties without being mandated by Malawians. If anyone who takes over incase the president is dead or incapacitated forms a new different political party than that which he/her was voted through then there should always be a call for fresh elections just as the case with section 63 of Malawian constitution which says the member of Parliament who crosses the floor his or her seat should be declared vacant and then has to seek fresh mandate under that new party he/she has joined. Just my views from Mchawa wa pa Mangochi boma.

  38. Nane Ndiyakhuleko says:

    totally agree

  39. Chikadzakuwani says:

    Opposition is inside therefore they can not give a voice also MCP president cannot say a word.

  40. zefania says:

    i support Mwaubulunju.these mps do little work yet they r paid more than other public servants who do more work this is ufair

    1. KHWITCHAVIZO says:


  41. Mkulu Captain says:

    A very good observation and it has to be sipported. And this is why these people take their bold stance to quit their jobs for the post of mp because they know thats where they will work like kings

  42. Mulopwana Wa Mamwene says:

    This is true, why do they get allowances when attending parliament and committee meetings yet they get full salary for that job. These MPs are daylight thieves, no wonder when it’s money they don’t argue but just agree. They go to parliament once in a while and get a full pay every month, Mwalubunju is very right. No wonder many people fight for these positions because they know it is not service to the people but rather to make easy money from poor Malawians.

  43. Tiko says:

    True. I have been pondering on that question for so long. MPs are in parliament for only 3 months per year, most of them have MSCE only but they are paid millions, and access 25 million G, oooh! For what? Day light robbery. Malawians its time to wake up.

  44. MMALAWI says:

    I have always wondered why they indeed get a full time employee salary when they work part time and again determine their own salary. Good observation Mr Mwalubunju?

  45. mwalybunji says:

    It looks like you don’t understand the roles of an MP. You mean you are not aware how much time they spend per day doing Government work? . And you NICE people go in the villages inform people what to expect from their MPs. People ask for coffins,matewera, paper Sunday contributions, transport money, school fees, money for food, and this does not only apply to the illiterate. Change people’s mind set first the these useless MPs will stop demanding salary increments. As it is now, they earn less than 5% of their salaries, the rest goes to the people.

    1. johnM says:

      What you have listed down are not the duties of an MP, “kupeleka matewela” what has that to do with an MP duties? The duty of an MP is to make laws which happens when parliament is sitting.

  46. Aki na Ukwa says:

    Mr. Mwalubunju should put his facts correctly. MPs are not part time workers. They work full time for five years. Mwalubunju should know that MPs form the arm of legislature of government. For government to function, it needs parliament in place unless Mr. Mwalubunju wants to tell us that we also have a part time government. Doing consultancies does not require someone to be a part time worker. Full time university lecturers also do consultancies and yet they are paid full salaries. Some people are actually full time consultants and not part time workers. So, I think this assertion is baseless and aimed at putting ridicule on members of Parliament.

    1. johnM says:

      Parliament only sits two times in a year, it does not sit full time like the British parliament or the American congress. So Mwalubunju is right, MPs should get allowance for the time parliament is in session.

  47. baba. says:

    Izi sizoona. Musawapangitse anthu kukhala ngati mbuli. munthu ukugwira ntchito ndikupatsa leave for two month does the boss pay you or not? There r aa lot of pple here who works and go for a leave for a month ot two but they get paid by the end of the month why?

  48. Sing'anga Halawala says:

    These are indeed smart criminals and this is food for thought. Here are people most of whom are merely MSCE holders and yet are one of the highest paid group of people from account number one. Part time indeed but paid housing allowances which are tax free when the rest of us such allowances are combined with the salary and therefore taxable. And fellow Malawian’s are you aware that when your MP is in Lilongwe for Parliament business and an organization wants them for a meeting they demand to be paid T&T from their constituency and also a sitting allowance despite the fact that they have already been paid such allowances by Parliament? Yet when debating cashgate issues they want to portray the picture that they are angels. Another group of Malawian Pharisees!

  49. yamikani chinjala says:

    Mwalubunju u r a genius.

  50. ndatani says:

    These words are true some people can really think. U r right sir. Imagine the pay of doctors and teachers.

  51. mwenecho says:

    Judiciary pple get their salaries coz they r full-time employees, Cabinet pple do just the same, so r civil and public servants, but with MPs, they r not full-time workers. Can someone educate me here, when MPs r not seating, what work do they do deserving salaries? And when they r seating, don’t they get allowances on top of the salaries? So, in actual sense, they get salaries for doing nothing. What a job! Mwaluwunju’s observation z making a lot of sense.

  52. Phiri phiri says:

    Mbuzoi inu eti. Mwayamba kuna kusina malamulo pan. Xul yanu sinakuthanizeni fwetseki

  53. nsanje port says:

    Bravo NICE…how can one decide on his own pay rise?…civil servants are really servants that are remembered pakalowa njoka…nkhani za money eni ake ndi ma M.P achimalawi…2019 muzavota nokha ife tisiyeni ndi umphawi wathuwu anthu opanda chisoni inu..

  54. Benson Chirwa says:

    I agree 100%. And why should their salaries and those of presidents be tax free? This is the reason why PAYE tax is rocket high because they don’t feel the pinch.

  55. The Citizen says:


  56. The Citizen says:

    I second your suggestion.

  57. Akuti when they are not in parliament amakhala ku constituency kutolera madandaulo a anthu. Nthawi zina amakhala akupanga ma committee meetings though they also pocket daily subsistence allowances for attending each and every parliamentary meeting or sitting on top of the heafty salaries and perks.

  58. Angozo says:

    I concer with you Mr. Mwalubunju these people are part time workers as far as I know because when parliament is not sitting they do nothing in their constituences but running their own family matters. They do not deserve salary hike.

  59. joseph kamangire says:

    I agree totally with the observation made by Mr Mwalubunju. I have always wondered why MPs only meet during those times when parliament is in session. Take the United Kingdom for example, our colonial masters, their MPs work full time, their various parliamentary committees meet week in week out while the rest of the house meets every wednesday for prime minister’s questions. Here the way our MPs work its like an equivalent of less than four months per year and yet the get hefty salaries with hefty pay rises and fuel allowances all year round. Definitely something is wrong and needs looking into as far as this issue is concerned.

  60. Chief Zion says:

    I totally agree with z suggestion bcoz these honourable members really work on part time basis and need to b paid based on zat

  61. chefourpence says:

    this Mwalubunju is a genius! Thats the way to go.

  62. mwika says:

    Inde ine ndagwirizana nanu a mwalubunju. Anthu awa they meet roughly three months per year to make laws for the country, so indeed that is the time they work. Of course, they also attend to committee business and this can be also part of the official work and so maybe another month and half can be added. But funerals and constituency social functions i guess are not what their JD is.
    MPs do not tell us that else where it is full pay.

  63. Marioshona man says:

    The article Is having meaningful substance. No need to raise MP renumerations . What they get is more than what they display. MP are using more of govt money while teachers, nurses ,police ,are receiving microscopic salaries, allowances . Some of MP privileges should trickle down to teachers , nurses, police

  64. I just hate the selfishness of these so called ‘legislators’!

  65. Lenard Muli says:

    I see more sense in this argument…

  66. Kong says:

    I write to agree with he said. MP here they work part time and getting full salary is mockery of our tax money. However this can be achieved when there is the clear clarification of their duties.
    And its true they has to be a an independent body that should look in their work and come up with the correct range of salaries based on the contribution to the nation. Not just going the parliament drink cup of coffee and earn salary.

  67. pusi mphaka says:

    waziwa liti kuti ma MP ndima part-time workers? nthawi yonseyi unali kuti nkhuku?

  68. Waibula says:

    I agree with you sir, After all when these guys go for their own job they are paid sitting allowance. So what’s their Job then on which the hefty perks are being waisted on. Eish!!!

  69. Nkhombokombo says:

    Mwayowoya makola chomene badada, nkhugomezga baBoma batolapo kanthu.

  70. jubeki says:

    I am sure if Ollen became an MP by 2014 he could not have uttered such garbage. Tell us Ollen which country on earth has done this imaginary snd utopia thing. To hell with you and your NICE tumbuka NGO.

  71. Hello! says:

    Good point, Mwalubunju!!! The body that needs to determine MP salaries is already there: The Civil Service Commission. The fact that MPs get salaries from government coffers is a clear sign that they are civil servants too. If the Civil Service Commission determines MP salaries then there will be fairness in the salary structure that is the case right now when the MPs only look at how fat their coffers should be. No wonder when they start debating about raising their own salaries they agree unanimously. MPs are supposed to be making laws instead of being controlling officers of their own. When did they last debate the need for civil service salaries to be adjusted upwards other than talk about their own salaries?

  72. Fathi Alshab says:

    oh…i have windered why mps are paid full salary pluds graduity at end of fuveyear team
    sure this is not a very productive jib its symbokic. my take is that mlw does not need 193mps,we can manage with 100 and these honourabkes di not eVen draft the laws the debate or pass.

  73. MALAWI says:

    Apa mwalankhula zanzeru kwambiri.

    Timadabwatu ife kuti Employee kukonza yekha salary?

    Well done NICE

  74. MKWAPU says:


  75. mabilinganya says:

    Food for thought!!!!!

  76. kukhala says:


    1. Sing'anga Halawala says:

      Excuse me please! Leaders of who? If you argued about chiefs even those we have in urban areas your argument could make some sense. Look here apart from some busybodies from the MP”s very few people in the community even feel the presence of these characters and certainly not me

  77. Youth wokwiya says:

    In do agree these mps work part time they don’t deserve monthly salaries

  78. Makaveli says:

    This damn peoples do nothing thy only eat money

  79. Alfred Newmann says:

    Methinks this issue needs to be looked at seriously. Just because we’ve been paying our MPs in the past, or because other countries are doing so, does not mean we should also do the same willy-nillly, particularly in such hard times affectiong everyone. It is not prudent behaviour. Many of our MPs are sitting phwii in LL, when they should be working with the people they represent. A committee should be set up to ensure that our MPs are paid for work done, not for fooling around in LL.

  80. Chief says:

    And look at there qualifications.

  81. Peter Mathanyula Wakuba says:

    Make them work for free. Let’s see who really cares for their constituents

  82. ujeni says:

    Good point. In the western, they earn more having a second job

  83. Isaac says:

    I am in total agreement with the concerns the gentleman has expressed. The thing all MPS totally is when they collect more money, irrespective of the poor people having no medicine in the hospitals

  84. Patriot says:

    Another GATE.

  85. bertha says:

    Ollen is wrong. MPs roles goes beyond parliament. Outside parliament mps are more busy in their constutience working

    with their people and consulting them on whay yo take to parliament.All over the world mps are paid as full time workers.Ollen mwayamba bodza mwatopa kapena

    1. arkmm says:

      it is you Bertha who is lying, defending nonsense. I’m 33 and I’ve lived in different constituencies in Malawi but I’ve NEVER seen or heard of an MP “consulting” his/her constituents whatever apart from conducting small rallies six months before elections, campaigning for their seat. most of these charlatans disappear as soon as they hear on zodiak that they have worn the elections, they all go to live in Lilongwe. so yes like most people on this forum, I strongly believe that these people are paid on nothing. think if our hardworking police staff, teachers, nurses, doctors etc kumachita kugwila ma shift just to keep Malawi going, but look at what they get? peanuts. no salary increment for MPs please. this world is just so unfair

  86. mpopoma says:

    I agree with Mr.mwalubunju .how can a member of parliament who has no qualification;and doesn’t contribute anything in their deliberations get paid more than a qualified nurse or doctor. Folish politicians ;selfish people mu ku fun a mubweze za campaign. Chamba etc?

  87. John says:

    Tickled my fancy. Like the analysis. Would love to hear an answer on why we are paying them full time, indeed. Well done!

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