By Rebecca Chimjeka:
Sources at parliament indicate that the MPs only get gratuity at the end of their terms.
In a memo which Malawi News has seen Mutharika authorised the inclusion of the two deputy speakers on pension at the end of their terms.
In an interview with Malawi News, Chairperson of Parliamentary Welfare Committee, Alex Major, confirmed that the deputy speakers will now be on pension.
“I can confirm in principle that the National Assembly will be providing a retirement package for deputy speakers. The President has authorised that,” he said.
Major said this is normal and is in line with their conditions of service.
Following Mutharika’s approval, ordinary MPs are also demanding that those that lose elections or decide not to contest again should be on pension.
“Following the approval for the deputy speakers to be on pension, ordinary MPs are also demanding that those that lose elections or decide not to contest, should be on pension. Currently, all MPs receive gratuity. It is different from what the deputy speakers will be getting after leaving office,” said a source at Parliament.
Currently, the MPs get a gross salary of about K1 million.
Before Mutharika’s approval, only the Speaker of Parliament was entitled to a retirement package.
However, this means that after the 2019 elections, Speaker Richard Msowoya, First Deputy Speaker Esther MchekaChilenje and Second Deputy Speaker Clement Chiwaya will be added to a list of thousands of government’s pensioners.
Chilenje and Chiwaya are expected to get retirement package equivalent to their current salaries and almost the same conditions as those of a retired speaker.
The Speaker’s package includes a monthly salary, housing allowances, a government vehicle and a driver, among others.
Among others deputy speakers are entitled to a maximum of K550,000 monthly housing allowance, a monthly salary, fuel allowances and a government vehicle.
In a telephone interview Thursday, Msowoya refused to comment on the matter and referred Malawi News to Clerk of Parliament Fiona Kalemba, who could not pick our calls.
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development
Goodall Gondwe, could not come out clear on how government will fund the retirement package for the two deputy speakers.
“Money for the retirement package of the deputy speakers will be found,” Gondwe said.
In May 2014, the Department of Human Resource Management and Development authorised the National Assembly to create the Office of Former Speaker.
The government recommended that the office should have a motor vehicle, a driver, a cook and a gardener.
Since the creation of the Office of the Former Speaker, former speaker Henry Chimunthu Banda has been the only beneficiary of the retirement package.
In July 2005, the House resolved to enhance the status of the Speaker through a motion moved by the late Aleke Banda, which was unanimously agreed to by the House. Former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika approved it.
The approval said only speakers who completed a full five-year term qualify for the retirement package and the conditions of service are determined by the President from time to time.
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