Malawian President Peter Mutharika and vice president Saulos Chilima have said they will not be taking the percent salary increase “until economic situation improves”, Finance Minister and government chief secretary have confirmed to Nyasa Times.
Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa said the new salaries, were “in line with the budget” which was passed by parliament last September.
Mutharika, who came to power after defeating Joyce Banda in May elections, has since said he will continue getting the K1.5 million a month and not the approved K2.7 million ( $5,263 ) a month.
Chilima will also be going home with K1 million and not the revised K1.8 million kwachas.
Government chief secretary George Mkondiwa confirmed with Nyasa Times in a telephone interview on Saturday evening, saying the Head of State and his deputy have “suspended” their new salaries, saying they will prioritise the improvement of living standards of civil servants and Malawians in general.
“We are harmonising our salaries [in the civil service] .The President His Excellency Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika and vice president Chilima have decided to suspend receipt of those salaries because of the [ailing] economy,” said Mkondiwa.
“They will continue receiving their old salary,” the government chief secretary said.
“It’s a voluntary arrangement [by the presidency],” said Mkondiwa.
Mkondiwa sais while the proposed salary increase for the Head of State may be justified, “the President has decided to forgo the increase this time.”
Finance and Economic Development Minister Goodall Gondwe also told Nyasa Times in a telephone interview on Saturday that “indeed I can confirm that the President and the Vice President will not be receiving the new salary.”
Gondwe said the presidency has deferred their new pay package amid austerity measures following foreign aid flight.
The salary hike send shock waves to Malawians as the country is facing economic turmoil.
Meanwhile, ministers and lawmakers will get a huge pay rise.
The pay cheques of the country’s 20 ministers and Leader of Opposition (Dr Lazarous Chakwera of MCP) have jumped to K1 608 million ($3,000) from K600 000 per month ($1,150) representing a rise of 168 percent, plus benefits including fuel allowances of 1 000 litres per month and K350 000 as housing allowance.
Deputy Minister’s salaries have been raised to K800 000 from K428 000, representing 87 percent with fuel coupon of 1 000 litres and will be paid K250 000 if they are not living in a government house per month.
The 193 lawmakers who make up the Malawi parliament will be getting K600 000 ($1,150) per month from K126 000, representing 376 percent. They will also 1 000 litres per month in fuel allowance and K350 000 as housing allowance.
According to acting Clerk of Parliament Roosevelt Gondwe, the new salary structure for MPs was implemented from October 1, 2014.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :