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Another Malawi Parliament clerk in trouble, draws K10 million for a trip he never made

Malawi’s Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) will decide how to deal with the issue of Deputy Clerk of National Assembly responsible for Corporate Affairs Renard Mapemba who is alleged to have drawn illegal allowances for a study tour which he never attended.

Recent media reports indicated that Mapemba drew allowances amounting to K10 million between September 2012 and March 2013 for his PhD programme in Scotland. This has reportedly angered the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) which has since demanded a report on the matter.

Chief Public Relations Manager for Parliament Leonard Mengezi told Malawi News in an e-mail this week that PSC is currently handling the matter.

The allowance issue and its off-shoots have raised eye-brows among parliamentary staff, some of whom accuse administration of playing double standards when dealing with issues of misconduct among different ranks of members of staff.

“This is a serious matter of financial misconduct which should have called for severe disciplinary measures which have not been taken up to now. Just a few months ago some members of staff from the Finance department got arrested and later dismissed on lesser matters.

Management is practising selective justice,” claimed a representative of a group of employees who asked not to be mentioned.

Parliament started deducting the money from Mapemba’s salary in May this year which is said to have heavily affected the Parliamentary Deputy Clerk forcing him to monopolise foreign trips in order to make up for the huge amounts that is being deducted from his pay cheque.

A salaries sheet, which Malawi News has seen, shows that government is deducting heavily on Mapemba’s salary whose study application was approved by former Clerk of Parliament Matilda Katopola, leaving him very little to survive on.

The information sourced further indicate that Mapemba also has a loan of over K9 million which together with the deductions from the illegal allowances would take over ten years before government would recover its money in full.

Sources from Parliament said recently Mapemba has been monopolising foreign trips flying to Zambia, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa in the past six months which he was allegedly not supposed to be part of.

But when approached to explain on these issues, Mengezi refused to comment choosing only to point out at PSC’s intervention on the allowances issue.

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