Former First Lady Callista Mutharika wants his son from her previous marriage to receive in cash benefits from the late President Bingu wa Mutharika’s death.
According to a letter to the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) from Callista’s Attorney’s dated January 8, 2013, Callista wants her son Allan Chimombo to receive the cash benefits because by the time of Bingu’s death the son had not reached the age of 18.
“The late President was first married to the late Ethel Mutharika and the children from that union are all above eighteen  years of age.
“In respect of his marriage with Madam Callista Jane Mutharika, the late President had a step child Allan Chimombo (son of Callista Jane Mutharika) who was born on 9th September 1994. He was not yet 18 years old at the date of the late President’s death.
“We would be grateful if benefits which are not in cash could be reduced to cash and paid as a lump sum,” reads the statement to the OPC.
All biological children of the former President from the union of the late Ethel, namely Norma, Duwa, Tapiwa and Madalitso, are over 18 and ineligible for the ex-President’s death benefits.
According to chapter 2:02 Section 6(1) of the President’s (Salaries and Benefits) Act, except for the President’s widow, all beneficiaries over 18 years old by the time of the President’s death cannot access benefits.
“Where the President, the Vice-President, a former President or a former Vice-President who is entitled to benefits conferred by this Act dies while in or after having left office, the surviving spouse and any children of the family who have not attained the age of eighteen years shall be entitled jointly to the pension specified in Part III or IV of the Schedule, as the case may be,” states the Act.
The Act further states that: “The pension payable under subsection (1) shall cease to be payable, after twenty-four months (excluding the month in which the deceased died) or upon the death of the last eligible beneficiary thereof, whichever is the sooner.”
This means that both Callista and her son have only next month to enjoy the salary and pension benefits from the former President’s allocation since he died in April last year.