Malawi MPs agree to raise their salaries

Malawian legislators on Tuesday unanimously endorsed a Public Appointments and Declaration of Assets Committee report which if adopted would see their monthly pay almost triple to a million kwacha ($6,060) from $2,364 (K390,000)

This was the first business the MPs dealt with ignoring other pressing matters affecting the masses like the spiral in food prices, fuel and drug shortages and wide spread poverty.

In a country where many still live below a dollar a day, the proposals by the MPs have not gone down well with most people.

Parliament started meeting on Monday and will run for the next four weeks.

UDF deputy parliament leader Atupele Muluzi greets leader of opposition John Tembo before the report was tabled: >Photo: Mabvuto Jobani /blogger

The Public Appointments and Declaration of Assets Report, which was adopted without much debate, also proposes 500 litres of fuel per month, K100,000 housing allowance, K10,000 hospitality allowance.

It further proposes that the K35,000 constituency allowance should be pushed to K60,000 per month and maintain the K175,000 motor vehicle maintenance allowance, the K100,000 utility allowance, and K45,000 office allowance.

Apart from the monthly package, the proposals also include a furniture allowance of half a million kwacha, an emergency loan of up to a million kwacha.

The MPs also want the motor vehicle loan to be increased from K5 million to K6 million, a sitting allowance of K5,000 on top of a subsistence allowance proposed at K30,000 per night from K20,000 and a general purpose advance of K3 million from K2 million.

All these proposals come at a time when the government is implementing massive spending cuts to sustain a zero budget deficit which is failing.

President Bingu wa Mutharika will have the final say on the proposals even the MPs go ahead and adopt them.

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