Zambian president Edgar Lungu has issued a directive for his and salaries of other highly paid appointees to be slashed as a means of cushioning the poor across the country.
The move comes in the wake of tariff hikes on fuel and electricity as announced by the Energy Regulation Board on Boxing Day (December 26). A statement from State House (the presidency) said the measure was to affect the president and all members of his cabinet.
“The president has also directed the Secretary to the Cabinet to cascade the directive to all non unionized public officers including parastatal executives,” the statement added.
President Lungu said recent tariff hikes were necessary whiles assuring that more cost cutting measures being put in place will bring about an economic rebound in 2020. The statement hinted that government was looking to restrict travels of senior officials as part of measures.
Some key pointers of the directive are:
- Public officers in the highest salary brackets will experience a 20% pay cut, Lungu falls in this bracket.
- Those in the middle bracket will have 15% pay cut
- Those in the lower rung will be down by 10%
It is not known how long this measure will be in place neither has the exact amount expected to be raised computed.
The president said the inevitability of the hikes necessitated the directive adding: “The money realized from this decision will go towards ameliorating the impact that the increase would have brought to the masses.” He called for other well-to-do officials to take a leaf from his lead.