Outspoken clergyman Bishop John Mambo has urged Zambians to maintain the momentum in denouncing the proposed increase of salaries and allowances for the President, ministers and constitutional office-holders.
Bishop Mambo told ZANIS in an interview today that the proposed increase of salaries and allowances for the President, ministers and constitutional office-holders is immoral and unjustified.
Bishop Mambo, who is Chikondi Foundation founder, said the proposed hike of salaries and allowances should not be entertained as they are many areas of priority that desperately need such resources.
He cited the health and education sectors as some of the sectors that urgently need resources.
Bishop Mambo pointed out that some health centers lack life-saving medicines and are deficient of skilled labour while some schools are dilapidated and the teachers are de-motivated because they are poorly enumerated.
He said doctors at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and lecturers at the University of Zambia (UNZA) are demanding for better perks, but government has been slow to respond.
Bishop Mambo further warned that if the proposed salary hike is implemented, donors and cooperating partners could loose confidence in Zambia.
He said such a hike of salaries and allowances portrays a picture that Zambia has sufficient recourses but that such resources are being misapplied.
Bishop Mambo also pointed out that the crusade against corruption would not yield the desired results because the national cake is not being fairly shared.
He said it would not do for some individuals to award themselves hefty salaries and allowances when other workers such as public service employees are poorly paid.
The three bills whose objectives are to increase salaries and allowances for the President, ministers and constitutional officer-holders have since passed the committee stage.
And MMD officials in Kasama this morning protested over the proposed new emoluments constitutional office holders and senior government officials.
The MMD officials led by District Chairperson, David Chanda, stormed the ZANIS offices in Kasama today in protest against he proposed hefty salaries for the senior government officials and constitutional office holders.
The officials described the move by Government to adjust the emoluments as selfish, saying the party in the district will not support proposal because it comes at a time when the country was facing economic problems.
The officials accused Government leaders of taking advantaged of President Levy Mwanawasa’s absence due to sickness to impose their will on the people.
They charged that there was no justification for the increase because Members of Parliament were already getting hefty allowances for sitting on the National Constitutional Conference, NCC.
The officials warned that they will not support any leaders who exhibit selfishness in the way they handle issues of national interest.
They charged that the recent developments were a testimony that leaders did not have national interest at heart but existed to fulfill selfish desires.
They regretted that project of national importance such as the rehabilitation of the Kasama-Luwingu Road, have stalled due to alleged lack of resources but at the same time leaders were insisting on paying themselves hefty salaries and allowances at the expense of national development.
The bills that sought to increase salaries and allowances for constitutional office holders and senior government officials have since passed through the stages of Parliament and now await presidential ascent.