Beleaguered State Vice President Khumbo Hastings Kachali is at it again. After backtracking on his earlier announcement that he had dumped the governing People’s Party (PP) in preference for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the VP is caught up in yet another ‘shameful’ scandal.
A month after President Joyce Banda opted for Industry and Trade Minister, Sosten Gwengwe, as her running mate in next week’s presidential elections, Khumbo Kachali has been acting the ‘angry one’.
Apart from boycotting state functions and eventually resigning from the PP, and, two days later, claiming he was still a PP ‘ordinary’ member, Kachali has also reversed a commitment he made in October 2012 that 30% of his salary be deducted to be used for other humanitarian purposes.
His commitment followed President Banda’s decision in August of the same year to slash her salary by 30% to share in the “difficult times” suffered by Malawians since she devalued the Kwacha in May 2012, one month after her ascendancy to power.
“I cut my own salary by 30% to show we are making sacrifices. It is a very low salary, but most Malawians are getting just as little as that. So that’s fine, we have a nation to build,” the President had told the media then and two months later, Kachali followed suit.
While President Banda had said that the 30% deducted from her salary be directed to the usually under-funded Ministry of Disability and the Elderly, Kachali did not indicate how he wished to donate the deducted money.
Nyasa Times has in possession a memo from the Office of the Vice President, Reference No. OVP/C/ADM/1, dated March 14, 2014 in which Kachali is claiming the whole amount of money deducted since he made the ‘deduction’ commitment in October 2012. The money claimed is K5.4 million.
Kachali’s monthly salary is K1 million and for the 18 months, he has received a grand total of K12.6 million instead of K18 million owing to the 30 percent monthly deductions.
The memo, signed by Paul Chiunguzeni and addressed to the ‘Director General, State House’, says that “it is His Honour’s intention that the proceeds from the deductions be donated to a charitable organization of his choice.”
Chiunguzeni informed the ‘Director General’ that he was claiming for a refund “on behalf of His Honour, the Vice President, Khumbo Hastings Kachali following 30% salary deductions, which were being effected from His Honour’s salary.”