Lusaka – Zambian President Edgar Lungu has reportedly asked that his salary be cut by half, as part of the government-led austerity measures.
According to Xinhua.net, this was revealed by Deputy President Inonge Wina. 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.
“This government is committed to enforcing austerity measures and the president is the first national of the country to declare that even his salary be cut in half so that the country can observe that we have to make sacrifices as leaders,” Wina was quoted as saying.
This came at a time when 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.
Meanwhile, according to Lusaka Times, Wina faced a tough time when an opposition lawmaker wanted to know about the government’s alleged purchasing of at least 45 GX vehicles for newly appointed ministers.
Wina reportedly said that these were “unfounded” allegations.
“On the issue of buying new vehicles Mr Speaker, this is news to me. I am hearing about this for the first time because even Cabinet has never considered such a proposal,” she was quoted as saying.