Just a day after government put a limit to vice president Saulos Chilima’s benefits, law experts in the country have commented by faulting the government’s move.

Vice President Saulos Chilima

According to a letter which was signed by Chief Secretary to Government, Lloyd Muhara, the country’s vice president Chilima will be accorded his benefits whenever he is conducting government businesses.

Responding to the development, Michael Goba Chipeta, who is the immediate former secretary of the Malawi Law Society (MLS), said the Presidents Salaries and Benefits Act says vice-presidents are entitled to the benefits by virtue of being vice-presidents and not necessarily when they are doing government businesses.

Chipeta has quoted Section 4 (1b) of the Presidents Salaries and Benefits Act.

“The Act is very clear. It says the Vice-President shall be entitled to the salary, benefits and facilities prescribed in part 2 of the schedule. So the entitlements are by virtue of being the Vice- President and not only when he is doing government work. The Act doesn’t say that. Whether he is attending a wedding or going to church or anywhere else, he is supposed to have those entitlements,” said Chipeta.

MLS president Alfred Majamanda has concurred with Chipeta saying the Act does not specify the scenarios where the Vic- President is to be accorded his benefits.

However, government’s spokesperson Nicholas Dausi has backed the decision saying Chilima will only be using government resources he is entitled to when he is doing government business assigned to him by President Peter Mutharika.

Government barred Chilima from some of his benefits days after he launched his United Transformation Movement (UTM) in Lilongwe where he gave a speech in which among others he accused the DPP government of being involved in corruption and also attempting to rig the forthcoming elections.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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