After State vice-president Saulos Chilima promised to introduce a welfare benefit scheme for all Malawians aged 65 years and above once he becomes the country’s president under the banner of UTM party, an opposition legislator is taking the matter in Parliament with a motion to introduce the state old-age pension scheme.
The planned motion is due to be moved by Zomba Changalume MP John Chikalimba (People’s Party-PP) this Thursday.
According to the notice of the private member’s motion distributed in the House, the motion would be moved to allow for a private member’s bill to allow welfare benefit scheme.
Reads the motion: “ That considering the numerous challenge which the elderly face in the country such as high level of chronic illness,widowhood, disability as well as inadequate financial support, this House resolves that as is the case in Zambia, Kenya and Botswana, all senior citizens who are 65 years old and above , but are not on pension, should be receiving a monthly allowance of K20 000.
“This will lessen their households with predictable income as well as assist them to invest in income generating activities.”
Thursdayis reserved for MPs to deliberate on private members motion.
Chilima has been saying in his UTM rallies thaty many older people are living pathetic lives with costs of goods and other expenses are rocketing and promised that his administration will ensure they supplement their income with a government old age grant.
He said scheme would cater for every person regardless of whether they were employed or not but will be subjected to means testing as other eldery are cash rish to get benefits pay.
Chilima also disclosed that his administration will increase retirement age from 60 to 65 years in order to ensure that people fully contribute to the country’s development.
Acooring to the Global Age Watch Index ,which measures crucial aspects of well-being of the elderly, including incomesecurity, health status, capability and environment , Malawi is the worst place to grow old.