VP's wife Mary Chilima's leaked SA medical bills stir debate

Mary Chilima

Uproar has ensured following a leaked document which shows Vice President, Saulos Chilima's wife, Mary will get K311.98 million for medical expenses in South Africa.

The leaked memo signed from the Office of Secretary of President and Cabinet and the Secretary to Treasury has authentication features of the official stamp.

The document also has an approval dated of September 19, 2022.

The SPC quotes a memo to President Lazarus Chakwera, by the Vice President seeking financial resources for the stated purpose.

The K311.98 million budget for the trip comprises accommodation, air travel fares, external travel allowances.

It also covers for vehicle hiring expenses, local security costs and food rations for Mary Chilima and four support staff.

"I can confirm that Mrs. Mary Chilima is in need of medical attention in South Africa," said Pilirani Phiri, Director of Communications in the Office of the Vice President.

The document
The leaked memo

Phiri could however, not be drawn into explaining the details of her illness and cost.

One of those who was perplexed, Kenster Faiti said: "300+ million for one person while people are dying in District hospitals? This is ridiculous."

Christina Chikailanda questioned: "Oh Really now? You’re going to make fun of someone’s healthy condition like that?"

A UTM sympathiser, Charles Mhango explained he believes there is a good chance this is propaganda: "Statehouse is trying to expose the VP."

Legally, the Vice President is entitled to free medical services and access to a physician on call. His spouse and children under the age of 18 are also entitled to medical insurance.

The Vice President's spouse is also entitled to travel abroad privately at government expense not more than twice a year for not more than 14 days each time.