Zambian ruling party shields leader over salary increment

Zambia's governing party on Thursday sprung to the defense of President Edgar Lungu who has come under attack from the opposition for receiving a salary rise.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu
Zambian President Edgar Lungu

Opposition political leaders, led by Hakainde Hichilema of the main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND), have condemned Lungu’s salary rise and demanded that he reverses the hike in view of the current economic challenges facing the country.

Zambian President Edgar Lungu
Zambian President Edgar Lungu
The opposition leader has described the decision as “outrageous” and “selfish”.

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda signed a bill on Lungu’s salary increase on March 10 and the new salary has been backdated to January 2016. This is the third time Lungu is receiving a pay rise since taking office in January last year.

But the Patriotic Front (PF) said it was irritated by the “unprecedented” levels of attacks directed at Lungu over the pay rise.

“We know that the intention of Mr Hichilema is to cultivate a seed of hate, discord, dislike and discontent against the government of President Lungu by germinating predictable lies for planting in the selected media,” the party said in a statement.

The party said the office of president was very important to the country and that Zambians have a responsibility to take care of it irrespective of the person occupying it.

On Wednesday, Lungu told reporters that he deserves to be paid his salary and allowance because of the good work he was doing and called on opposition leaders to appreciate the work he was doing. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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