Government has taken note of public comments and press reports criticizing His Excellency the State President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and suggesting that the savings that have been made through his decision to limit the size of the Cabinet to 20 members are being depleted allegedly by a BIG number of advisors that he has so far appointed.
Government wishes to dismiss this impression as erroneous and an irresponsible mockery of the truth. The public deserves to be reminded that information pertaining to the salaries of public officials, including those of Members of the Cabinet and Presidential Advisors, is public and, therefore, is available to anyone who needs it.
It is clear from the incorrect pronouncements and misinformed condemnations made so far that those making them did not do themselves the favour of seeking correct information before seizing their right of expressing themselves. Because had they accessed the correct information they would have easily understood that falsehood can never get any worse to suggest that the Cabinet savings have been swallowed up by the Presidential Advisors’ pay.
Below please find the information that we believe will prove the absurdity of the claims. As you will notice, the perks of a Cabinet Minister far out pass those of a Presidential Advisor. This is to emphasize the fact that the savings from a reduced Cabinet have not, cannot and will not be taken up by the perks of Presidential Advisors and Assistants.
Besides, from this information, you will also note the careless misuse of the word BIG to describe the number of Presidential Advisors and Special Assistants.
PERKS OF A CABINET MINISTER
• A taxable basic salary of K7.2 million per annum, which translates to K600, 000. 00 per month
• A hospitality allowance of K20, 000. 00 per month
• Utility allowance of K80, 000. 00 per month
• 1000 litres of fuel per month
• Free security
• Free accommodation
• One official vehicle
In Grade D/P2 at a salary of K402, 441. 00 per month
• Mr. Francis Mphepo Chief Political Advisor
• Mr. Bright Malopa Chief Advisor on Communication and Strategy
• Dr. Collins Magalasi Chief Economic Advisor
In Grade E/P3 at a salary of K352, 910. 00 per month
• Mr. Symon Vuwa Kaunda Special Advisor National Unity and Parliamentary Affairs
• Mr. Nick Masebo is Special Advisor on Youth
• Mr. Wiktor Songazaudzu Sajeni is Special Advisor on Capacity Building
In Grade E/P4 on a salary of K308, 505.00 per month
• Mrs. Annie Makuta is Special Advisor on Women
• Mr. Ben Phiri
• Mr. Mavuto Bamusi
Since this is a clean wage, the salaries to the Presidential Advisors and Special Assistants are inclusive of water, electricity, housing, security, cellphone and telephone allowances.
However those in Grade D/P2 are entitled to a vehicle for self-driving where vehicles are available. At the moment they are yet to be allocated those vehicles.
It is also worth clarifying that the former First Lady, Madam Callista Mutharika, is not among the advisors of the President as it is being claimed. As a matter of fact, she is the National Coordinator for the function of Safe Motherhood and Population Services which was recently relocated from the Office of the President to the Ministry of Health. She was appointed to replace Chief Kwataine of Ntcheu who held the position under the previous administration.
Government wishes to believe this information is helpful to clarify these matters. At the same time, we wish to reiterate the commitment of His Excellency the State President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, to deliver service to the people of Malawi within the available resources through elimination of waste in use of public resources, guard against theft of public resources and ensuring that there is value for money in every Government transaction.
It is also imperative to appeal to all those with the urge for making public pronouncements to only do so when they have accessed correct information. There is no responsibility in exercising the right to free expression by churning out falsehoods, distortions and fabrications.
Hon. Kondwani Nankhumwa, MP
MINISTER OF INFORMATION, TOURISM AND CIVIC EDUCATION