Malawi poll commissioners in obscene 170% pay hike proposal – Report

There has been a backlash from commentators on the proposal Commissioners at the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to have a roughly 170 percent pay rise as University of Malawi’s Chancellor College political scientist Blessings Chinsinga and lawyer Justin Dzonzi have warned as that passing them would have ripple effects on the already struggling economy.

Mbendera ( 2nd from left) flanked by MEC Commissioners

Mbendera ( 2nd from left) flanked by MEC Commissioners

MEC director of media and public relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa has confirmed about the proposals, according to a newspaper report in the Weekend Nation of Saturday October 17, 2015.

The paper reports that the proposals, coming a year after the commissioners’ perks were last adjusted, are contained in last month’s communication from the commissioners to the Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament which is mandated to determine the commissioners’ perks.

The proposal is pushing for an over K1.5 million jump in the commission chairperson’s monthly take-home package from the current K917 000 (totalled from honoraria, housing, hospitality, telephone and utilities allowances) to K2.4 million whereas that of other commissioners has been proposed at K1.9 from K730 500,  representing an   increase of 170 percent.

The proposed changes include a 150 percent jump in honoraria from K600 000 to K1.5 million for the chairperson and K475 000 to K1.2 million (153 percent increase) for the rest of the nine commissioners.

The commissioners are also proposing an increase in housing allowance from K200 000 to K750 000 and K160 000 to K600 000 for the chairperson and commissioners respectively. This represents a 275 percent hike in both cases.

On other allowances, the commissioners are proposing a sitting allowance of K100 000 from K15 000 and hospitality allowance of K60 000 from K40 000 for the chairperson.

They further recommend that the chairperson’s domestic allowance be moved to K45 000 from K20 000; residential ground telephone of K35 000 from K12 000; utilities from K30 000 to K55 000; per diem from K40 000 to K80 000 per night with fuel going up by 250 litres from the current 500 litres.

The commissioners’ sitting allowance has been pegged at K90 000 from K10 000 while hospitality allowance is at K50 000 from K30 000.

The commissioners also want their domestic allowances to be increased from K18 000 to K35 000, residential ground telephone from K10 000 to K30 000, utilities from K25 000 to K40 000, per diem to be adjusted to K80 000 from K30 000 per night while fuel should be put at 500 litres from 300 litres.

If the proposals are implemented, each of the nine commissioners will be carting home a monthly package of K1.9 million with the chairperson Justice Maxon Mbendera receiving almost K2.5 million.

The commissioners’ proposed changes exclude other existing benefits such as medical cover (MASM- VIP scheme which also covers their spouse, up to four children and two dependents), one four-wheel drive vehicle and a loan of K10 million during their four-year term.

The commissioners and chairperson also get K400 000 and K500 000, respectively, for furniture at the beginning of their term of office and $200 (about K116 000) and $250 (about K130 000) monthly as telephone allowances.

All the commissioners, including the chairperson, are also entitled to armed police guard, three private guards and burglar alarm system at their residences.

Currently, MEC has 10 commissioners including the chairperson who were appointed by former president Joyce Banda in 2012.

Meanwhile, the Weekend Nation report quoted   Chinsinga giving the proposals a thumbs down, saying the were “out of tune” and that there are “ obscene and unreasonable” especially given the current state of the economy.

And lawyer Dzonzi, who is also executive director for Justice Link, wondered why the commissioners would make such a proposal when “the President publicly said the country was broke”.

He said “this is not the time to adjust salaries” and that it would be “careless” for PAC to approve the adjustments without taking a critical look at the country’s resource envelope.

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Are these guys also Malawians? Do they really know what they are asking for? Do they also partake of the economic challenges that their fellow countrymen and countrywomen are currently going through?


these guys are just crazy let them go look for jobs . Who authorised them to keep those cars after elections anyway . That’s the problem talking unemployed people to authority now they think its a full time jobs . Anyway how much have they collected since becoming commissioners ?

Mbowe Mulambia

Ukazaona wa khungu akati ndikugenda uziwe kuti waponda mwala. MEC knows what they are doing they know that this is a fake government.


I understand one of them is a Reverend?? Wot a stupid reverend Chinkwi,,,,,,,


nde mupite ku private sector. .problem solved

Peter Mathanyula

Apatseni 170%’yo, nafenso mutipatsa. Palibe yemwe safuna ndalama. Munapereka about 70% to senior civil servants last year telling the juniors that this year would be their turn only to be given a meager 14% and no one is speaking about this. What injustice.

voice of reason
MEC is engulfed with financial scandal but at the same time they are demanding 170% pay hike. It sounds nonsensical. But but what could be the motivation and belief that this could work.I mean government bowing to their demands. These are are highly learnt fellows for sure they cannot be be mad. They exactly know what they are doing, and they will get it. The financial scandal will end up to no where. Why? They made this government and they know it’s pay back period. DPP government they know what is at stake and it cannot dare them. Let’s watch… Read more »

This nonsense from MEC must STOP!!!! Which institution pays its board members monthly honoraria?? Is MEC taking advantage of puppet and corrupt leadership we have had since democracy? This institution must be reformed or we will experience civil war due to MEC’s shameful and shocking incompetence and its leadership have no shame in demanding to reap where they did not sow!


Guys truly speaking the remuneration needs an increase let’s criticise reasonably a chisingaaa and dzodzi osamangosusa mopanda nzeru nanga inuu sitting allowance ya commissioner mpaka k10,000 nonononono tiyeni tiwawaganizire l agree to increase their meagre salaries

Koma ?????

Yet doctors, Professors get peanuts..not even such ‘jekisoni or choko’ allowances

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