The President’s salary has gone up by 27 per cent and not 10 per cent as indicated by government. This still puts President Michael Sata’s salary at a higher level than other Presidents like Malawi’s Joyce Banda.
Apart from an increment in his salary, President Sata was getting a special annual allowance of K108, 934.00.
Labour Minister Fackson Shamenda said the increase of the President’s salary from K327, 000 to K414, 000 represented a 10 per cent increase and that he was the lowest paid in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
However, a check by the Daily Nation revealed that President Sata was getting a higher salary in the region.
Pro-poor Malawi President Joyce Banda who gets US$41,641, while President Sata gets (US$78, 405).
And President has dismissed assertions that he decided to award himself a 10 per cent salary increment.
He explained that salaries and allowances for the President, Vice- President, Chief Whip, Leader of Opposition, Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, and Members of Parliament were determined by the Standing Orders Committee of Parliament.
“The procedure is once the Standing Orders Committee has determined what increment to award, the Minister of Finance issues a Statutory Instrument. In fact, this year, the Committee, which includes opposition Members of Parliament met and came up with an increment of 10 per cent taking into account the national resource and notwithstanding the fact that the civil service was awarded increments ranging from 0 per cent to more than 150 per cent,” President Sata said.
In a statement released yesterday by President Sata’s press aide George Chellah, the head of state emphasised that this decision was made at Parliament by both ruling party and opposition Members of Parliament, whose salaries have equally been revised upwards.
“I urge all opposition Members of Parliament to take time and explain this slight adjustment to their party leaders to avoid shooting themselves in the foot,” he said.
But Operation Young Vote (OYV) charged that it was clear that the PF government was not pro-poor.
OYV president Guess Nyirenda said instead of emulating Malawian President Joyce Banda for her decision to cut her salary as a way of sacrificing for her people, the PF was now defending the President’s salary increment against the highly paid heads of states in the region.
Nyirenda said the PF should be ashamed to stand at podiums when they had failed to put more money in the pockets of the people that voted them to power.
“We don’t care about other SADC leaders and what they get, we are interested in the lives of thousands of children who missed vaccination due to BCG shortage and people living positively to avoid future shortages of the drugs in hospitals,” he said.
He said action to increase their salaries was clear testimony of public funds mismanagement to give themselves huge salaries against food shortages and high unemployment in the country.