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Saulos Chilima still on zero pay

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Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima (SKC) has re-affirmed his 100 percent commitment of his monthly salary towards the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, which has so far claimed more than 50 lives in the country.

Spokesperson in the Office of the Vice President, Pilirani Phiri, said in an interview that Chilima’s commitment remains intact even after change of government.

Chilima made the commitment in early April this year at the peak of his rivalry with his former boss Peter Mutharika, who lost power to President Lazarus Chakwera in the June 23 court sanctioned Fresh Presidential Election (FPE).

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“On Covid-19, yes as of today his commitment remains. The Vice President committed 100 percent of his salary for three months, after that it will be 50 percent, with the other half being committed to charity,” Phiri said.

The spokesperson believes Chilima’s estimated K1.7 million salary will go a long way in complementing government’s efforts of mobilizing resources to contain the novel coronavirus, which attacks a person’s pulmonary system.

In his weekly update on Friday, President Chakwera said he has established an office within the presidency exclusively dedicated to the fight against Covid-19.

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He also advised against any form of complacency in following all the precautionary measures of preventing the virus.

“The likelihood of recovery for anyone infected does not mean you can afford to get complacent in taking preventive measures to protect yourself and others from the virus. But it does mean you should refuse to turn your vigilance into paranoia or paralysis and refuse to respond to any confirmed case with despair or despondency,” reads Chakwera’s statement in part.

Malawi registered its first case of Covid-19 on April 2, 2020 with former president Mutharika declaring a state of disaster.

Government then moved in to announce that the country needed slightly over K150 billion for Covid-19 response.

Reports emerged however that the funds were being abused by the Department of Disaster Management and Public Events, forcing Ombudsman Martha Chizuma to institute investigations.

The national Covid-19 Response Plan according to government shows that protection and social support was allocated a lion’s share of about K92.4 billion. Food security had the second biggest allocation of about K16.5 billion.

Coordination has an allocation of about K332.4 million while communication was allocated K1.1 billion. Health cluster was allocated K15.4 billion while water, sanitation and hygiene cluster was allocated K11.9 billion.

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