Malawi govt approves K4.6 billion MPs personal loan facility

While overburdened tax-payers are yet to be hit with punitive taxes to meet the yet to be adopted zero-aid budget, there are more worrying news to bear following the approval of K4.6 billion personal loan facility for Parliamentarians.

Government has  endorsed proposal to allow Members of Parliament (MPs) to access personal loan of K24 million each despite struggling to meet the much needed funds to finance the K700 billion national budget.

Speaker Richard Msowoya:  Among the MPs who accessed the loan facility
Speaker Richard Msowoya: Among the MPs who accessed the loan facility

Treasury spokesperson, Nations Msowoya told Nyasa Times in an interview tax-payers will have to meet 50 percent of the loan repayment with so far over 100 MPs already accessed the loan.

Msowoya however refused to comment on how the hefty loan package for the 191 MPs will affect government’s cash-flow.

Msowoya said: “The loan is accessible once and will be repaid throughout their tenure, thus from 2014 to 2019. Government will pay 50 percent and the MPs will meet the other 50 percent.”

The loan package includes funds for a motor vehicle, general purpose and emergency.

MPs had a 40 percent basic salary increase from K179, 000 to K250, 000 with a consolidated package grossed over K700 000. MPs also have a bulk of non-taxable allowances apart from their sitting allowances when the House is in session.

According to the list of those who got loans from  Malawi Savings Bank (MSB) in July, each of the legislators received K24 million, which is more than triple the K7 million facilities that legislators from the previous Parliament enjoyed.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera—whose political grouping wants all Cabinet ministers fired for allegedly asking to have their perks increased—is one of those who got the facility from MSB.

Apart from the 65 MPs who obtained the money from MSB, there are 97 MPs—including Speaker Richard Msowoya who accessed the loan facility from Standard Bank in July and August.

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