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4816Re: [ujeni] news

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  • Don & Cathy Weber
    Sep 15, 2005
      Poor Bingu. What a bum wrap...complaints about a $300/day expense allowance
      in New York City! As it is, that may get him into a Best Western as long
      as he eats at McDonalds. (wonder what the U. S. expense allowance is for
      President and entourage??? But, hey, we're rich.) One does wonder what
      the size of his entourage maight be, though...oh, those entourages. And re.
      another Chumbler article....yea to the Brits for the $9 mil. Cathy

      > Bingu's entourage to get double allowance
      > by Gedion Munthali, 08 September 2005 - 05:30:18

      > Government has approved payment of foreign travel allowances at double the
      > normal rate to members of President Bingu wa Mutharika's entourage to the
      > United Nations General Assembly.
      > "A recommendation that entourage members be paid foreign travel allowance
      > at double the normal rate has been made to the appropriate authorities and
      > they have since been approved," reads a September 1, 2005 letter from
      > Secretary for Foreign Affairs to the Malawi News Agency, asking for the
      > release of two journalists to cover Mutharika.
      > The letter says Mutharika will depart on September 12, 2005 and arrive in
      > New York on September 13, 2005. He will spend six days in New York where
      > he will, among other things, address the General Assembly. He will then
      > depart for London on September 19, 2005. What he will be doing in the
      > English capital has not been specified.
      > "In view of this programme, it is expected that media personnel should
      > arrive in New York by September 12, 2005, and thereafter depart New York
      > in accordance to the presidential itinerary," reads the letter.
      > The normal rate is $150 per day.
      > Foreign Affairs Minister Davis Katsonga defended the double rate
      > allowances on Wednesday.
      > "Rules do not come from my ministry," said Katsonga. "Countries are
      > categorised in terms of cost."
      > He said the double rate was called for because New York is expensive.
      > "Let people not see these allowances as just a luxury," he argued. "You
      > would not want the presidential entourage to reside in the United States
      > version of Malawi's Manyowe," he said referring to a squatter residential
      > area in Blantyre.
      > He declined to mention how many people will be part of the entourage.
      > Secretary to Treasury Patrick Kabambe declined to comment on whether it
      > was normal to pay people allowances at a double rate.
      > "Our job at Treasury is to provide resources, and make sure that they are
      > being used within the approved parameters," said Kabambe.
      > He referred the reporter to the Office of the President and Cabinet.
      > "They may have sought the approval of OPC in that case," Kabambe said.
      > Chief Secretary for the President and Cabinet Bright Msaka, and Chief
      > Secretary for Public Service Charles Matabwa could not be reached for
      > comment.
      > Secretary for Human Resource Sam Madula, whose department formulates the
      > allowances, was out of his office. However, a source in the department
      > disclosed that a special rate of one and a half applies for places which
      > are deemed expensive.
      > "In this case they should have been paid $225, not $300," said the source.
      > This is happening when President Bingu wa Mutharika and the United Nations
      > are appealing for funds for food due to the looming hunger in the country.
      > Last month Mutharika launched the Feed the Nation Fund to mitigate the
      > impending hunger while the United Nations this month appealed to the
      > international community to provide nearly K11 billion for food as well as
      > emergency agricultural assistance.
      > *****
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