Malawi MPs seek to triple their salaries

Parliamentarians in Malawi on Thursday pushed a report to Parliament seeking approval to triple their salaries, saying they required the increase to meet the needs of their communities.

Parliamentarians in Malawi on Thursday pushed a report to Parliament seeking approval to triple their salaries, saying they required the increase to meet the needs of their communities.

The new proposal “took into consideration the current economic factors” lawmaker Philomina Kasambwe told Parliament, in a speech broadcast on state radio.

“We face numerous problems at constituency level,” she added, apparently referring to hungry peasants who often beg members of Parliament for food, school fees and other items.

Kasambwe said lawmakers want basic pay and benefits totalling about R45 000, from the current R17 700, a month. Malawi’s 170 000 civil servants earn an average of R680 a month. Inflation is at about 7%.

Parliament is expected to pass the new proposal without much debate, but President Bingu wa Mutharika will have the final say on the new deal.

Malawi is one of Africa’s poorest countries, with half of its 13 million citizens living on less than a dollar a day and a per capita income of $200 — about R1 360. — Sapa-AFP

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