Africa In The News

Tanzanian president discloses salary, one of lowest among African leaders

DAR ES SALAAM, Oct 4 – Tanzanian President John
Magufuli has revealed he earns a salary of 9 million Tanzanian
shillings ($4,000) per month, making him one of the lowest paid
African leaders as he pursues a much-criticised policy of deep
public spending cuts.

In a speech to local officials in the capital on Tuesday he
also said his government had slashed salaries of executives at
state-owned companies at 15 million Tanzanian shillings
($6,700) a month — more than his own.

“They can leave if they don’t want it,” he said. He said
abuse of public funds was “rampant” at state firms and that he
had rejected requests from some local officials to more than
double their allowances, saying he could not do so while many
citizens lack access to water, health care and electricity.

Since taking office in November 2015, Magufuli — nicknamed
“the Bulldozer” — has cut government spending by imposing
measures such as restrictions on foreign travel for government
officials and the removal of “ghost workers” from the state
payroll.

Some critics say his cost-cutting measures are excessive and
argue they could undermine growth in East Africa’s
second-biggest economy and some have slowed investment in
critical sectors such as mining.

Magufuli’s salary is a small fraction of that of other
African leaders. He has no other publicly known sources of
income and his government said last year it plans to submit a
parliamentary bill that would prohibit public leaders from
engaging in business to avoid conflicts of interest.

By contrast Kenya’s president earns a monthly salary of
around $14,000. Jacob Zuma of South Africa is paid around
$20,000 monthly, following a salary increase by parliament in
2015. Since 2009, Zuma has been embroiled in numerous scandals
and allegations of abuse of office, including more than $500,000
of improper state spending on security at his private home.

Others with more modest pay include President Muhammadu
Buhari of Nigeria, who took a 50 percent pay cut when he took
office in May 2015. The annual presidential salary was
previously set at 14.1 million naira, which in mid-2015 was the
equivalent of $70,000.

($1 = 2,239.0000 Tanzanian shillings)

-(Reuters)

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