Reading through president Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s post on his Facebook page that he has directed secretary to the cabinet to cut salaries for top government officials and those running parastatals by 20, 15 and 10% as a mitigatory act to help cushion citizens burden resulting from government’s hike on fuel prices and electricity makes funny reading.
In his view he will cut top officials salaries by 20% and that includes him, the medium ones by 15% and the lower ones by 10% and the money raised from this will be channeled to offset the impact on the hikes, sadly for Zambians how this will be done hasn’t been explained.
Firstly, suppose this is done, how will citizens know for a fact that the cuts have been effected when they are not even privy to the actual salaries of these top officials?
Secondly, let’s put the average number top government officials that will be affected by the cut to one thousand, and each earning around an average K40, 000, 15% being the mean percentage. 15% of K40,000 is K6000 multiply that by 1000 officials and you raise K6,000,000 monthly. How will this K6,000 000 cushion the hike in fuel prices and the soon to be effected hike on electricity taking into consideration that its individual households that are affected by all these hikes?
Thirdly, how certain are we that the amount raised will surely be allocated for mitigatory measures with the rampant corruption within the Patriotic Front government that has constantly been embroiled in so many allegations starting with inflation of prices on Fire Trucks, Ambulances, Road construction costs, self allocation of state land and the illegal sale of Mukula trees to the Chinese?
Fourthly, the top, medium and lower high government officials to whom cuts are to be made will not be affected by them coz their salaries are already high and many have government contracts and kickbacks from Chinese contractors aside of their salaries.
Lastly, if the president is sure this amount raised from the salary cuts will cushion the effect of these two hikes; fuel and electricity, why not halt the hikes and channel the money directly to Zesco and ERB to offset their losses by the none hike?
It is clear from the rationale the president has used to come up with such a solution that he is out of touch with reality and has unpragmatic methods of solving economic and financial problems the country is facing right now.
And aside of the many comical things he has done this year (2019), I.e asking the people of Bauleni to vote for PF because he is the one who releases money for development or even jumping up and down in jubilation for being called “bamene bali nakasa ka ndalama” translated “the one with the keys to state financial resources,” his reasoning and act to come up with this nonsensical mitigatory solution wins him the “Comedian Of The Year” Award.
Zambians want impactful and lasting solutions and not this joke.
Mbanga, Ilukui Irvine.
United States of America.