12 June 2019

Malawi: Newly-Elected MPs in Secret Caucuses Over Loan, Salary Increment

Newly-elected members of parliament from all the political divide are having secret meetings to force parliament increase their monthly salaries and loans.

Ulemu Msungama of MCP (L) and House rookie Ben Phiri of DPP during orientation for Members of Parliament at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe. Pics by Roy Nkosi, Mana

Some of the members of parliament have confirmed to Nyasa Times that they want their salaries pushed to K2.5 million a month.

In addition, they want the zero interest loans which is now pegged at K50 million per legislator pushed to K75 million.

"The cost of living has gone up, this is why we need these adjustments," said one of the legislators.

Currently, a member of parliament gets K1.6 million a month in addition to K50 000 per day they get when parliament is sitting or when they are in committee meetings.

Senior assistant Clerk of Parliament Joseph Manzi say they could not comment since the issue has not yet reached them but this could cause public outcry as civil servants salaries remain very low compared to other countries in the Sadc region.

The MPs are meeting at a five-day orientation workshop as they areParliament set to be sworn-in on Monday and Tuesday next week.

During the elections, voters elected 134 new faces, representing 68 percent. The 192 legislators elected to date are broken down as follows Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 62, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) 55, independents 55, United Democratic Front (UDF) 10, People's Party (PP) five; UTM Party four and Alliance for Democracy (Aford) one.

During the May 21 vote, there was no parliamentary election in Lilongwe South following the death of a candidate weeks before polling day.

About 64 MPs have returned to Parliament, according to results from the Malawi Electoral Commission, up from 46 in 2014. In 2009, 47 MPs out of 193 returned to Parliament, 49 in 2004, 61 in 1999 general election.

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