Zambian president cuts his wages as energy prices rise

The cost of electricity is to soar by 115 per cent starting January 1.
The cost of electricity is to soar by 115 per cent starting January 1.
Image: 123RF/Choneschones

Zambian President Edgar Lungu cut his salary and those of senior cabinet ministers Friday, as higher electricity and fuel prices take effect, his office said.

The price of petrol gained 10 percent to 17.62 kwacha ($1.27) per litre on Thursday, while that for diesel fuel rose by 9.6 percent to 15.59 kwacha.

The cost of electricity is to soar by 115 per cent starting January 1.

The stiff hikes for electricity and fuel have sparked an uproar on social media where many Zambians vented their anger.

The cut in the president's salary and those of senior ministers is in the range of 15 to 20 per cent.

"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.

Lungu said he was aware of the suffering that the Zambians were going through as a result of the tariff hikes but expressed confidence that the economy would rebound in 2020 owing to measures that the government has put in place.

They include reducing travel by senior government officials.

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