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Peter Mutharika’s guards go six months without allowance

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Some presidential security guards who are not accommodated at state houses and presidential lodges have gone for six months without money for the settlement of their electricity and water bills in the areas where they are renting houses.

The guards working at Sanjika and Kamuzu palaces, Chikoko Bay, Mzuzu State Lodge and Zomba State House are entitled to a K15,000 monthly utility allowances, which according to our sources is given to them on the 15th of every month.

However, Presidential Press Officer, Mgeme Kalilani, could not comment on the matter by our press time yesterday despite promising to get back to us after introducing the issue to him yesterday morning.

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“This is an administrative issue which I need to ask the rightful people. Call me after 30 minutes,” he said.

When we called again he said the sources he was relying on were in a meeting and promised to get back to us, a thing he never did although we kept calling him.

But one of the affected guards said they have not been getting the allowances from June to December 2016. He said when they ask their boss, Peter Mukhito, who is the Director of State Residences, he has been telling them that there has not been any funding for state house operations.

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“From June, we only got the October allowance which we received in November and that was because guards from Lilongwe were planning to strike and officials were afraid that the situation would worsen if it reached the media. However, we have not gotten the allowances for the rest of the months,” said the source.

He went on to say that the situation is worrisome as it indicates that there is no equal treatment if they are to compare themselves with their colleagues who are living in free houses and accessing free water and electricity at state residences.

He also said they have not been receiving what they call, “change over allowance” of about K150,000 which they get after guarding and patrolling Kamuzu Palace for 15 days.

“We devised a system where some of us working in other state houses go to patrol at Kamuzu Palace so that we can be getting an allowance. We do rotate in teams of 17 guards. However, we are also not getting that allowance,” he said.

Among other places, the presidential security staff also guard Peter Mutharika’s personal house, former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s house and the presidential guest house that are all in Nyambadwe, Blantyre.

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