Councillors in Mzimba have hiked their monthly earnings by 20 percent.
The increment is awaiting the approval of Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa.
During a full council meeting on Friday, Mbelwa District Council’s finance and audit service committee chairperson Brian Manda proposed to hike their honoraria by 90 percent.
After a heated debate for two hours, the councillors waived their demands following reports of 60 percent drop in revenue collection.
The financial statement shows the council collected K66 041 698 against an annual budget of K171 439 300 and borrowed money to pay its workers because its coffers were dry.
Nankhumwa can only approve the hike depending on the council’s revenue collection, the report shows.
And Mzimba district commissioner Thomas Chirwa said the 90 percent increment was unrealistic and unjustifiable.
“Instead of finding ways of helping the council generate more revenue, you are busy demanding allowance increase. This is selfish and uncalled for. I will not accept it,” he said.
The council’s director of finance Nardin Kamba asked the councillors to look beyond “what goes into their pockets” for the good of almost 980 000 people in Mzimba.
He reckoned the K80 000 councillors get every month is “even more than what council workers get”.
In an interview, Perekezi Ward councillor Andrew Tembo said they settled for a 20 percent increment because the initial demand was unrealistic.
“We have failed the council by not bringing new ways of generating more revenue collection,” he said.
Mzimba has 22 councillors who will pocket K96 000 if Nakhumwa approves the hike. n