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Pay hike for Zambian President, others

The Zambian parliament has increased salaries and allowances for the president, ministers, deputy ministers, members of parliament and other constitutional office holders after the house passed three amended emolument bills.

The three bills were passed with more than two thirds of majority votes.

According to the amended presidential Emolument Bill passed by parliament Wednesday evening, the salary of the president has been increased by 15 percent and would now annually be pegged at K164,120,016, while the vice-president’s annual salary would be K99,227,544. (1USD=K4,200)

The deputy speaker, cabinet ministers, the chief whip and leaders of opposition will get an annual salary of K75,117,124, special allowance of K26,382,673, while the utility allowance for the same category of officers is now K26,680,000.

The three bills were initially passed by parliament some two months ago, but were sent back after President Rupiah Banda early this month asked parliament to reconsider the bills as they were costly to government.

Vice President George Kunda, who presented the amended bills, told parliament that the treasury had insufficient funds to implement the earlier proposed allowances, explaining that government had spent huge amount of money to hold the October 30 presidential by elections and expenses towards the State funeral for the late president Levy Mwanawasa.

According to the amended Presidential Emolument Bill, the President’s special annual allowance of K157,210,523 was reduced to K59,494,734, while the annual responsibility allowance of K150 million was scrapped.

The Vice President’s special allowance had been reduced to K33,886,567 from K94,119,870, while the responsibility allowance of K90 million has been scrapped and the utility allowance reduced to K26,680,000 from K66,400,000.

Back benchers would get an annual salary of K70,161,239 and special allowance of K19,165,615, instead of K66 million, while deputy ministers will get an annual salary increment of K70,953,196 and special allowance of K24,107,904, down from K61,448,092 earlier proposed.

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