21 November 2016

Zambia - Lungu's Salary Cut 'Delusional', Opposition Says

Photo: Zambia Reports
President Edgar Lungu and his daughter Tasila Lungu (file photo).

Zambia's opposition, the Green Party, has criticised President Edgar Lungu's move to have his salary cut by half, saying that it was "delusional" as it "meant nothing" for Zambians.

Reports over the weekend indicated that Lungu had asked that his salary be cut by half, as part of the government-led austerity measures.

Deputy President Inonge Wina told parliament on Friday that Lungu would reduce his monthly salary which was currently pegged at $45 000 a month by at least 50%.

She said that the Lungu led government was serious about reviving the struggling southern African country's economy.

However, according to Lusaka Times, the Green Party president Peter Sinkamba said that although his party supported the austerity measures taken by the Patriotic Front(PF) led government, a large number of people who were going to feel the pinch were the poor.

Taking a swipe at Lungu, Sinkamba said that the measure would not have any "significant" impact on the country's economic troubles.

Sinkamba accused Lungu of making more foreign trips abroad which were taking up a huge chunk of the taxpayers money.

He said that the "paltry" 50% saved from his salary would "mean nothing" for Zambia.

Reports indicated that the southern African country's economy was under performing due to the fall of its main source of income, copper.

Zambia, depended on copper for more than 70% of its export earnings, and was among a number of African countries that were currently struggling after commodity prices plunged, leading to weakened currencies and gaping budget shortfalls.

Economic expansion slowed to 3.2% last year from 5% in 2014.

Bloomberg reported that the country's economy was expanding at the slowest pace in 17 years and was reining in a ballooning budget shortfall.


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