Malawian President Joyce Banda will take a 30 percent pay cut as part of a broader effort to get the country’s budget under control, a top government official revealed Friday.
“In support of the austerity measures, the president and the vice president have voluntarily decided to reduce their monthly salaries by 30 percent with immediate effect,” Vice President Khumbo Kachali said, launching a fresh economic recovery programme.
The president earns on average $5,000 per month, but will now take home around $3,500. The vice president earns $4,000, and will take home $2,800.
Since coming to power in April, Banda has embarked on a series of reforms designed to fix Malawi’s battered economy, which has been hit by fuel shortages and dwindling foreign currency reserves.
She has won the support of international donors through an economic strategy to help stabilise the weak agriculture-powered economy where half of the 14 million population live on less than a dollar a day.
Donors, who back-stop 40 percent of the development budget, have been pressuring Malawi to cut expenditure, including local and international travel.
Banda has been criticised locally for picking a 40-member delegation to the United Nations general assembly where her cash-strapped government will spend more than $1 million on travel and other expenses.
International worries about the previous government’s policies and authoritarian tendencies led donors, including former colonial power Britain as well as the United States, to cut off aid last year.