Legislators demand conditions of service for Malawi cabinet ministers over K7mil ‘discreet allowances’

Opposition legislators have asked the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) to furnish the conditions of service for cabinet ministers, accusing them of getting up to K7 million in discreet allowances.

Richard Chimwendo Banda: The ministers pocket descreet allowances
Richard Chimwendo Banda: The ministers pocket descreet allowances

Dowa East MP Richard Chimwendo Banda  (Malawi Congress Party –MCP) alleged the OPC offers the cabinet ministers a K5 million loan whoever applies for it, K1 million furniture loan and up to K1 million hotel allowance soon after they have been appointed to their position and K45 000 subsistence allowance whenever they follow the President on his official and political errands.

He therefore told the cabinet ministers to shut up and let the government release money for the K3 million loan for each.

Leader of the House George Chaponda told the opposition Malawi Congress Party and Peoples Party legislators that the government had no money to meet their demands.

He asked them to think of the poor people who are suffering because of the shrinking economy.

Outspoken Information minister Patricia Kaliati told parliament not to release the K50000 sitting allowance for the MPs for Monday because the legislators had not worked but instead wasted time for personal issues.

First Deputy Speaker Esther Mcheka Chilenje asked the Dowa East MP to bring evidence on allegations that the OPC operates a secretive account for cabinet ministers to get loans.

Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume and minister of labour Henry Mussa were among the many that stood up to reject the allegations.

Nkhata Bay Central MP Ralph Mhone told Chilenje to summon OPC officials to respond to the allegations to which the First Deputy Speaker said standing orders or rules of parliament do not allow her to do so.

Deliberations started after Leader of Opposition told the House, in authoritative voice, that MPs should put national interests above personal interests.

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