Blantyre: Malawian President Peter Mutharika, his ministers and lawmakers have awarded themselves a huge pay rise, the president`s office said Saturday.
Mutharika, who came to power after defeating Joyce Banda in May elections, will now be paid $5,263 (2.7 million kwachas) a month. His old salary was 1.5 million kwachas.
His deputy Saulos Chilima now earns 1.8 million kwachas, up from 1.0 million, the statement added.
The paycheques of the poor southern African country`s 20 ministers have jumped to $3,000 from $1,150, plus benefits including $1,600 in fuel allowances.
The 193 lawmakers who make up the Malawi parliament will be getting $1,150 per month, nearly five times their earlier pay of $242. They will also get $1,600 in fuel allowances.
In contrast, public servants earn $100 a month on average.
The kwacha has weakened considerably, from 400 to the dollar in October to 513 to the greenback today.
Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa said the new salaries were "in line with the budget" which was passed by parliament last September, which has a deficit of $205 million after Western donors suspended aid worth $150 million because of concerns over graft.