The country’s 462 ward councillors are calling for an eye-catching 20 percent pay rise in their monthly honoraria from the current K100 000 to K350 000.
The entitlement packages which the councillors are also seeking an increase include sitting allowances, telephone allowances with K10 000 worth of airtime for each, fuel and ward allowance.
The councillors have also demanded health insurance at government expense.
According to Alexander Shoti, member of 12-councillor executive, the demand had been presented to Malawi Local Government Association (Malga) annual general conference held earlier this month and has been forwarded to Parliament “for consideration during the current budget meeting.”
Malga president councillor Wild Ndipo, who is also mayor for Blantyre City confirmed sending a letter to Parliament on September 17 2019 asking for pay rise and that government should also buy official vehicles for district commissioners (DCs).
Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development spokesperson Muhlabase Mughogho said they have not received the report yet on Malga conference.
If approved, government would require about K162 million to pay honoraria each month up from K46.2 million while the fuel allocation bill would jump from K16 million monthly to about K61 million.
Mughogho is on record saying the process for increment of salaries for councillors starts from the council before the actual approval by the ministry.
“The council applies to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development if it wishes to have salaries of its councillors increased, the ministry then forwards the application to the National Local Government Finance Committee which assigns a committee to review the financial status of the council.
“It then issues a report which is reviewed at the ministry level before the actual approval or rejection by the minister based on the report from the National Local Government Finance Committee,” she explained.
Mughogho also highlighted that councils are at liberty to review sitting allowances and fuel allowances for councillors without the approval of the ministry.
Malawi’s public purse is already facing pressure against a background of donors withholding direct budget support.
Most councils struggle to generate revenue and some have struggled to pay monthly salaries to secretariat staff due to poor revenue collection.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :