The Malawi governement has clarified that the 21 percent salary restructure that the Minister of Finance announced in his budget presentation pegged for the country's civil servants is an average figure and not something to be implemented across the board.
"The 21 percent salary increment mentioned is an average figure," Principal Secretary Sam Madula told Malawi's Zodiak Broadcasting Station Wednesday June 13 2013 in Lilongwe.
Mr. Madula explained that while lowly paid Civil Servants serving as Messengers will get a 46-percent increment those in the highest positions of Chief or Principal Secretary will get12-percentr while Clerical Officers will be offered 44-percent pay rise.
The news comes amid concerns from different quarters including the Trade Unions and the country's Consumers Body that the governement has not done justice in the salary adjustments.
The anger comes from the background of Malawi succumbing to pressure from the international community to devalue the local currency with over 49 perent, a situation that has pushed prices of nearly all commodities up and pushing the poor Malawian to worse living standards.
In his 2012/13 budget statement, Malawi's Finance Minister Dr. Ken Lipenga announced that Civil Servants will get an average of 21 percent salary increase, which has been described as a mockery to the Malawi nation by many commentators.
However in his June 13 statement Mr. Madula says that the 46 percent announcment is not something that has been cooked just now.
He challenged that deliberations on the said percentages were done way back before the Budget session but that "people did not understand that the 21 percent mentioned was just an average."
Last Friday Dr. Ken Lipenga presented Malawi's 2012/13 annual budget of 394 billion Malawi Kwacha of which 270 billion is expected to be sourced locaaly while 124 billion from the donors.
Parliamentarians are currrently debating the budget at the New Parliament Building in Malawi's capital Lilongwe.
This year's budget is a complete run away from the in famous Zero Deficit Budget (ZDB) that late President Bingu wa Mutharika experimented the past two fiscal years.
When Her Excellency Mrs. Joyce, currently in United States of America, took oath of Presidency on April 7 2012 after the demise of Mutharika, she promised to abandon the ZDB and engange donors, a development that many Malawians welcomed.
Trade Unionists could not be reached to comment on the recent news, but while welcoming the new figures most people interviewed indicated that the percentages are still far from the anticipated.