Friday, September 17, 2021

Zambian president cuts his pay to tackle economic crisis

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.
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The President of Zambia Edgar Lungu has cut his salary and those of senior cabinet ministers as his government struggles to deal with a major economic crisis.

Zambians would have to contend with higher electricity and fuel prices with the impact to be felt by the poorest in society.

The price of petrol went up by 10% to 17.62 kwacha ($1.27) per litre this month while that for diesel fuel rose by 9.6% to 15.59 kwacha.

From January 1, 2020, the cost of electricity will also soar by 115%. These increments have sparked angry from many Zambians.

To deal with the situation, the President’s office said the salary of Mr. Lungu and those of senior ministers will be cut between the range of 15 to 20%.

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“The money realised will go into cushioning the impact on the vulnerable in society. The money realised from this decision will go towards ameliorating the impact that the increase would have brought on the masses,” Lungu’s press aide Isaac Chipampe said in a statement.

The increase in transport costs will mean hiking of prices on other products too.  Chipampa Makungu, a vegetable seller told Africa Feeds that “We will have to adjust our prices upwards, if not, there will be no profit, because we will have to pay more for transport booking.”

David Mubanga, a Lusaka resident also told Africa Feeds that while the increase in electricity tariff is partially justified other feel this is a sign of a failed leadership, where prices continue going up, with low liquidity and the country being riddled with all sorts of taxes.

President Lungu assured however that his government will work hard at fixing the economy and rebuilding it in 2020.

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