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Zambia President Edgar Lungu takes 20% pay cut

Zambia President Edgar Lungu has borrowed a leaf from his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta, by announcing his intention to reduce his salary and that of senior cabinet ministers by 20 percent.

Lungu’s announcement is seen as a tact to reduce public outrage amid soaring fuel and electricity prices in his country by almost a hundred percent.

Local media indicates the Head of State’s reported $10,000 (about Sh1 million) monthly salary will be whittled down by 15%. Senior ministers too have not been spared.

“The money realised will go into cushioning the impact on the vulnerable in society,” Lungu’s press aide Isaac Chpampe explained.

Lunga added he was aware of the suffering that the Zambians were going through as a result of the tariff hikes but expressed confidence that the economy would rebound in 2020 owing to measures that the government has put in place.

Landlocked Zambia exclusively relies on South Africa and Tanzania for imports and has suffered economically since the fall in copper exports and prices of the precious commodity.

In May 2014, President Kenyatta announced that he and Deputy William Ruto were taking a 20 percent pay cut in a move aimed at curbing the ballooning public wage bill. President Kenyatta also asked Cabinet Secretaries to take a 10 percent pay cut.

However, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto got a pay rise in May 2017.