COUNCILLORS around the country have threatened to take drastic action which they say the Government will regret if the K700 monthly allowance for civic leaders is not reviewed immediately. Leading the revolt are Patriotic Front councillors in Kitwe, who said the Government could not ignore their plea for better salaries and allowances because according to the amended Constitution they were entitled to a salary. And Lusaka councillors have described the K700 monthly allowances as ‘‘nothing but a mockery and slavery wage’’ considering the prevailing economic challenges in Zambia and have urged the Emoluments Commission to state their position on the matter. Addressing the media at Kitwe City library, the councillors complained that it was unfair for them to be getting K700 as an allowance when the mayor’s salary was K26,000 per month while that of the Member of Parliament was K28,000. Speaking on behalf of other councillors, Buntungwa ward councillor William Nyirenda said councillors were doing almost the same job as mayors and MPs and it was, therefore, unfair for them to be given a K700
allowance. “We do almost the same job as mayors and MPs and so it is unfair for them to be getting K26, 000 and K28, 000 per month respectively when we are getting a meagre K700. Our conditions of service as councillors are bad and we are receiving an allowance far below the minimum wage,” said Mr Nyirenda. And in Lusaka, Patriotic Front (PF) Kapwepwe Ward 25 councillor Patrick Salubusa said it did not need a rocket scientist to know that the K700 monthly allowance was unable to meet the basic needs of any citizen and wondered how the civic leaders would look after their families without a salary. Mr Salubusa said that councillors were faced with difficulties to meet the needs of community members who looked up to them for assistance during times of bereavement among other concerns and explained that the community had the wrong impression that civic leaders were getting
K15,000. The councillors have since challenged the Emoluments Commission to state their position on the matter and insisted that there was a lacuna in the Constitution, hence the Ministry of Local Government as well as the Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) needed to dialogue.