Lungu’s salary cut ‘delu­sional’, op­po­si­tion says

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

LUSAKA — 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 per­cent.

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 per­cent 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 per­cent 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 per­cent last year from 5 per­cent in 2014.—

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