Newly appointed National Coordinator for Safe Motherhood in the Office of the President , Dorothy Ngoma says is expecting to enjoy full benefits and monthly remuneration in her new post.
President Joyce Banda appointed well-known rights activist Ngoma to replace former first lady Callista Mutharika for the post which she had occupied the position for two years.
The former first lady was earning MK1.3 million, a princely sum in one of the world’s poorest countries.
The move had angered civil society which demanded that late president Mutharika’s wife salary be scrapped as they argued it was for all intents charity work. Her salary could have paid 30 nurses or 93 primary school teachers a month.
Ngoma who is also executive director of national organization of nurses and midwives of Malawi told local radio Capital FM she expects to be paid as ambassador.
“Yes that is what I expect to be paid monthly salary including all benefits it carries with it, which to me is alright,” said Ngoma.
Ngoma downplayed the controversial salary debate saying in the first place she is not the first lady.
She said her job is equivalent to “a principal secretary “in government.
Ngoma said she will quit her current job to work as co-ordinator for safe motherhood,
“I think the civil society’s logic to condemn first lady’s salary on the basis that she was supposed to do it as a charity not full time employment I think that was the point this would equally have applied to me if I were the first lady but am not one so yes I expect to be paid,” stated Ngoma.
Ironically, she was part of civil society activists that took late Mutharika to task for authorizing salary to his wife.
Appointment of Ngoma who has vast experience and academic credentials in the field has been hailed by many Malawians as good drive on part of President Banda towards addressing the thorny issues surrounding maternal health status in the country and it has proved to be societal cancer to a majority of Malawian mothers.
Ngoma is a champion of the fight to improve the country’s poor health standards.
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