Leader of opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera has said the prospect of a large pay rise for President, vice president, ministers and MPs including himself was “simply unethical” at a time when the economy is ailing and public-sector workers want better pay.
Chakwera during a news conference on Monday accused President Peter Mutharika of engineering a salary increase for himself, his deputy, ministers and lawmakers and later defer his new pay to gain political mileage.
He said the hefty pay rise is “wrong” and illegal because they were done without the approval of the Parliament.
“We never at any time discussed about this, the President has just done that on his own,” said Chakwera who was visibly charged.
He said: ” I don’t think its right to affect this pay rise at a time when nurses, teachers, people in the private sector are going through a pay squeeze and facing incredibly difficult economic circumstances.”
“I am told the president has rejected the hike but who has received the money so far, who approved the increment. Why am I just hearing this from the media. This in my understanding is meant to divert attention of Malawians from real issues. I believe in servant leadership how one man can approve such huge increment without members of Parliament,” queried Chakwera.
Commenting on the salary hike issue, MCP parliamentary spokesman, Joseph Njobvuyalema cited Section 82 being the law which gives powers for the salary of President and his vice to be increased by parliament with consultation of the president.
Chakwera, who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president, said it would be incomprehensible to millions of taxpayers who pay the salary of public office holders to see the new package implemented.
He called on government to listen to the cries of public servants and reminded the Democratic Progressive Party government that they had promised to remunerate civil servants adequately if voted into office.
Chakwera said it is unfortunate that government is failing to resolve the impasse with the Judiciary over salary hike, accusing President Mutharika of not showing seriousness on issues of national importance.
The MCP president also accused government for failing to resolve the ‘Nac-gate’ – National Aids Commission(NAC) where cash was given to Muhlakho wa Alhomwe and Beautify Malawi Trust (BEAM).
He requested the institutions to refund the money to NAC.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :