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State House backtracks on Joyce Banda’s salary

The State House has backtracked on its earlier confirmation that President Joyce Banda was yet to start honouring her salary cut pledge.

According to a press statement issued by Press Secretary in the President’s Office Steve Nhlane yesterday, the president’s pay cut has been effective since October.

“The President is committed to playing her part in Malawi’s Economic Recovery. To demonstrate Her Excellency’s personal commitment to government austerity measures, the President voluntarily cut her pay by 30 percent,” said Nhlane.

“This pay cut took effect from the October pay cheque onwards.”

Nhlane said the president announced on September 28, 2012 that she would cut her salary by 30 percent and since the announcement was too late for the September pay cheque, its implementation commenced in October.

He said the President’s salary was cut from K 1.5 million to K1.05 million per month.

However, officials from Public Service Management on Wednesday told Parliamentary Committee on Public Appointments and Declaration of Assets that President Banda was still enjoying her full salary despite her pledge to have it cut.

Earlier, Nhlane dismissed the matter as a small administrative issue and said once everything has been processed her salary will be cut from September.

He later backtracked, saying he did not understand the question in the first place.

“In fact the President has been getting a salary cut since September when she announced about her decision. There is documented evidence, which can be made available to you to show that indeed the president has been getting a salary that was 30 percent less,” explained Nhlane.

Sam Madula, Principal Secretary in the Department of Human Resource Management and Resources, said both the Department of Public Service Management and the State House were wrong to say in an earlier interview that the President was still on full pay.

“The president’s salary has been deducted since September when she announced that she will surrender 30 percent of her salary,” Madula said.

He said it was understandable that the Public Service Management Department could not know anything about the cut since it is implemented at the State House.

“The President’s salary is on the government payroll and it is public information. The cut is not a secret.

“Our department checks all payrolls prepared by government departments to ascertain if the names appearing are truly representing the salary recipients and this is why we know that the President’s salary was deducted as soon as she announced,” Madula explained.

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