Ministers and deputy Ministers will receive an automatic monthly salary increment of KR1,400 (K1.4 million) as a result of the 15 percent fuel increase.
And National Restoration Party (NAREP) president Elias Chipimo has condemned the selfish increase affecting senior civil servants and ministers while the rest of the people must fend for themselves.
He condemned the unjustified increase in take home benefits for senior government officials.
Mr. Chipimo said the increase in take home benefits of government officials among them deputy ministers and ministers had resulted in fuel subsidy reduction and subsequent increase in the pump price.
“Every Deputy Minister and Minister is entitled to receive the cash equivalent of at least 800 litres of fuel per month. What this means is that now the fuel price has increased, each Deputy Minister and Cabinet Minister will receive more money in their pockets while the people of Zambia continue to struggle with the rising prices of goods,” he said
Mr. Chipimo also observed that the entitlement of 800 litres of fuel to deputy ministers and ministers meant that there was an additional amount that needed to be paid as a result of the fuel increase, each deputy minister and minister would get now to their salary increment of about KR1440 or K1, 440,000 in the old currency.
The opposition political party leader also argued that although bus operators were being asked to be patient and not to increase fares, the PF government was being insincere in the manner it was handling such issues that border on governance.
He said that it was unfortunate that the PF government had failed to resolve students challenges at the University of Zambia where they were being asked to pay more for the bursary application form at short notice.
“An on the spot check has indicated an alarming increase in the price of commodities and this is as a direct result of the recent removal of the fuel subsidy.
“These increases could have been better managed had the Patriotic Front administration adopted a more inclusive approach towards decision making,” said Mr. Chipimo.
Mr Chipimo said that to avoid causing further misery to an already battered citizenry, “we urge the PF administration to engage in broader consultation with stakeholders before making decisions of this nature.
“Is this really the time to be triggering more unnecessary by-elections? Does government really need to have more than one deputy minister per ministry and even 3 deputy ministers in four different ministries?”He said that the removal of fuel subsidy should have been staggered and measures put in place to cushion the impact on the most vulnerable Zambians, many of whom are wallowing in poverty and lack decent employment.