Willie Samute, who was acting as Malawi’s Chief Secretary to Government has been pushed aside to continue with his role as a deputy in the office, President Arthur Peter Mutharika has instead elevated former Secretary for Foreign Affairs George Mkondiwa to be the new head of the civil service.
Samute was in the news just this week when he signed a memorandum asking Mutharika to approve an almost 600 percent salary increase for members of the country’s cabinet.
The proposal which is said to have been rejected by the President could have seen full ministers carting home K3.5 million a month from their current K600,000.
Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) announced Mkondiwa’s appointment Wednesday, August 27, 2014 just a day after the leaked memo on the minister’s salaries was published in the media.
“The appointment is with immediate effect,” reads the brief press statement.
Mkondiwa was at Foreign Affairs when President Mutharika was the minister there during the reign of his brother Bingu.
Samute’s memo on the salaries attracted a backlash from both civil servants and members of the public as well as the civil society organisations who called the proposed salaries as unethical and day right robbery while others called the packages as another ‘cashgate’ to siphon money from government coffers.
The proposals irked Malawians since the country has all the signs of an ailing economy with government already mauling over how to close financing gaps in the 2014/2015 national budget due to aid freeze.
The proposals also suggests an increase of gratuities for the ministers from K9 million to K52.5 million for full ministers and K6.429 million to K45 million for deputies.
However, according to Presidential Press Secretary Frederick Ndala said the proposals have since been rejected by the President.