After protests against a planned increase in electricity and fuel prices, Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu has announced that his own salary and that of his ministers will be cut. Lungu’s office said yesterday that salaries will be cut by 15 to 20 percent to „cushion the impact of rising fuel and electricity prices on citizens.“
Lungu said he was aware that the population was suffering because of the price increases. But he was confident that the economy would be stimulated in the coming year thanks to the government’s measures.
Price increases from January 1st
On Thursday, the electricity regulator gave Zesco the green light to raise tariffs in the face of the group’s “serious financial problems”. The electricity regulator announced a 115 percent increase in household tariffs from January 1. In addition, gasoline and diesel prices were raised by ten and eleven percent, respectively, with immediate effect. The announcements sparked outraged reactions.
Opposition politician Hakainde Hichilema criticized on Twitter that the drop in salary announced by the president was „insignificant“ and only „a drop in the bucket“. The increase in electricity tariffs is the result of the „failure of Zesco“, the national electricity company plagued by „corruption“, Hichilema wrote.