The refusal by President Joyce Banda to increase salaries of members of Parliament by 137 percent as proposed by the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) underscores the need for government to put in place a clear policy regarding salaries and increments for civil servants.
We are saying this because the President’s rejection of the PSC proposal and the raising of the legislators’ perks by 28 percent, follows an 80 percent increment on minister’s allowances announced last month and a 21 percent across-the-board salary increment for civil servants. This shows that government’s decisions on this issue are not coherent and consistent ; hence, the need for a well-articulated procedure. In fact, before government devalued the kwacha by 49 percent in May, it was supposed to have foreseen the need to have such a policy in place. Otherwise, what is happening now begs the question as to whether government thought about cushioning Malawians from the effects of the devaluation. We, therefore, strongly urge government to put its house in order and come up with a clear policy on salaries and increments so that nobody cries foul.