Funding allocation to the Office of Vice-President Saulos Chilima was drastically reduced during the months of November, December and January, Weekend Nation can reveal.
According to the Appropriation Act of 2016/17, the Office of Vice President was expected to get a total of K360 million for the three months.
But documents Weekend Nation has seen, the office has had to scale down operations because it has been receiving not more than K20 million per month, against the expected K120 million.
The documents show that Veep’s office received only K15 million and was not given any funding for poverty and disaster management and public events.
When contacted, outgoing Principal Secretary (PS) in the Office of the Vice-President Ben Botolo, who will soon become Secretary to the Treasury, indicated that there was a mistake in allocation figures.
“The error will be corrected,” Botolo briefly told Weekend Nation. But impeccable sources confided in this paper that the budgetary squeeze has led to Chilima’s office to accumulate huge debts, particularly in terms of fuel, at a time when there is heightened need for travel during the current flood disasters.
The budget squeeze is also coming at a time when there has apparently been no love lost between Chilima and his boss, President Peter Mutharika. Both leaders have not openly acknowledged the alleged schism between them.