By Isacc kittti
Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has disclosed he earns a gross salary of 9 million Tanzanian shillings which is an equivalent of $4,000 monthly, making him one amongst the lowest paid African presidents. His salary is a meagre fraction of that of other African heads of states. Maghufuli is pursuing a much-criticized policy of extreme slashing of public expenditure.
President Maghufuli on Tuesday in the Capital Dodoma he addressed local officials that his government had slashed salaries of executives at state-owned companies at 15 million Tanzanian shillings ($6,700) monthly – more than his own income.
“If they don’t want it they can leave it,” he said. The abuse of public money was rife at state firms and that it forced him to reject pleas from local officials to double their allowances, saying he could not do so while many citizens lack basic necessities like access to water, health care and electricity.
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.
Ever since assuming office in November 2015, Magufuli popularly called “the Bulldozer” has slashed government expenses by imposition of measures such as restrictions on foreign travel for government officials and the removal of “ghost staff” from the state payroll.
Maghufuli’s critics warn his slashing-cost measures are extreme and could undermine growth in Tanzania, the East Africa’s second-biggest economy and some have already been evident in slowing down investment in critical sectors such as mining
As opposed to Kenya’s president who is said to earn a monthly salary of around $14,000 while Jacob Zuma of South Africa is paid about $20,000 monthly, following a salary increase by parliament in 2015. Zuma has been implicated in numerous scandals and allegations of abuse of office, including over $500,000 of improper state expenses on security alone at his private home.
Another president who gets a lion’s share of a salary pay slip is President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, who injected himself with a 50 % pay cut when he assumed office in May 2015. Nigeria’s annual presidential salary was initially set at 14.1 million naira, which in mid-2015 was the equivalent of $70,000.