Government has withdrawn the motor vehicle replacement allowance for Cabinet ministers effective January 1, 2019 in adherence to the austerity measures government has put in place.
Secretary to Cabinet Roland Msiska said government has made the decision because it is fiscally untenable to continue providing the allowance at the fixed monthly rate of K32, 715.20 for each Cabinet and Provincial Minister which was being effected through the payroll.
Dr Msiska announced the development in a press statement issued to ZANIS in Lusaka yesterday.
He stated that the introduction of a motor vehicle replacement allowance was seen to be more cost effective as government would not have to spend more on maintenance and insurance of motor vehicles for ministers.
Dr Msiska explained that since independence, ministers and parliamentary presiding officers have been entitled to personal to holder and utility vehicles and fully furnished houses.
He said this was however revised by Government through circular 12 of 2018 issued on June 15, 2018 which abolished the provision of personal to holder motor vehicle and free furniture and introduced the motor vehicle replacement allowance.
Dr Msiska said the abolishment was in line with government’s pay policy of 2009 and recommendations of the Salaries Review Report of 2011 to rationalize and harmonise salaries and conditions of service in the public service.
He further added that the abolishment was in line with government’s implementation of austerity measures in view of the country’s current fiscal challenges.
Dr Msiska said all affected and eligible offices shall revert back to their previous conditions of service which require that they are provided with personal to holder vehicles and furnished houses.
The Secretary to Cabinet explained that requests by Members of Parliament to have the motor vehicle replacement allowance extended to them was unjustified as they were not entitled to in their conditions of service.
Dr Msiska explained that emoluments presently payable to Ministers and Parliamentary Presiding officers are provided under the ministerial and parliamentary offices Emoluments Act Cap 262 of the Laws of Zambia.
He said Statutory no. 63 of 2018 as amended is the emolument that is in force providing for special allowance, utility and constituency allowance and that personal to holder entitlements for Members of Parliament are not statutory but effected through circulars issued from time to time by the Secretary to Cabinet.