MZUZU (MaraviPost) — Mutharika’s lean cabinet announced last week is projected to save millions and billions of kwacha in monthly and annual expenditures, Maravi Post has learnt.
Pres. Mutharika, elected in last month’s highly contested May 20 tripartite elections, lived to his pledge of appointing a 20-member cabinet.
His predecessors in the last five years Joyce Banda and Bingu wa Mutharika – his elder brother – had bigger cabinets of between 32 and 43 members.
A comparative analysis by Malawi’s Nation on Sunday revealed that Mutharika’s new cabinet will be saving a minimum of K35.4 million, a big drop from Banda’s cabinet which was costing over K55.2 over the same period.
According to the paper, “a full cabinet minister pockets K1.3 million in monthly salary and a K520 000 monthly fuel allocation while a deputy cabinet minister takes home K800 000 salary and K520 000 for fuel.”
Overall, it is expected that government will be spending K428.8 million annually on ministers as compared to Banda’s government which was spending K662.4 million on the same.
The paper further revealed that the savings of K20 million per month are enough to fund to fund the four country’s referral hospitals of Mzuzu, Lilongwe, Queen Elizabeth Central and Zomba.
The four hospitals were getting K100 000 each for day-to-day operations during the Banda’s regime.
Meanwhile, activists have called for the legitimization of the lean cabinet.
“This is just something that can be made into law, restricting a president to appoint a cabinet of not more than 20 – including cabinet ministers, deputies, the president and the vice-president,” said Martha Kwataine of Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen).