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Monday, 11 March 2013

Cost of Ministers (MMD vs PF)

A number of people asked for a comparison of ministerial costs between MMD and PF Government. I asked Prof Henry Kyambalesa to update the figures he has made available in the past (e.g here). So we worked together to produce the tentative figures below. Please treat these as exploratory. Corrections are most welcome. All figures are on annual basis (in old Kwacha).

MMD Government (2008)

75,117,124 Salary
26,382,673 Special allowance
26,680,000 Utility allowance
128,179,797 x 24 = K3,076,315,128

Deputy Minister:
70,953,196 Salary
24,107,904 Special allowance
26,680,000 Utility allowance
121,741,100 x 43 = K5,234,867,300

Total expenditure:
K 8,311,182,428

Data Source: The Amended Presidential Emolument Bill No. 18 of 2008

PF Government (2013):

Cabinet Minister:
149, 938,472 Salary
38,380,194 Special allowance
38,812,730 Utility allowance
227,131,396 x 20 = K4,542,627,920.

Deputy Minister:
141,626,993 Salary
35,070,974 Special allowance
38,812,730 Utility allowance
215,510,697 x 53 = K11,422,066,941

Total expenditure:

Data Source : Statutory Instrument No. 18 of 2012: The Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Emoluments (Amendment) Regulations, 2012.


The following assumptions have been made:

a) the assessment excludes consideration of permanent secretaries. This has been done because there's a lack of clarity on the precise composition of such, but also because these are non-political offices.
b) salaries, special allowances and utility allowances attached to Deputy Ministers in government ministries also apply to Provincial Deputy Ministres.
c) constituency allowances are assumed to be retained by the people appointed.
d) the calculations are in not in the rebased Kwacha - all figures are per year.
e) comparisons between MMD and PF would ideally need to take on board inflation or wage index. Such an exercise can be undertaken by easily getting the data from the Central Statistics Office.


Since these figures have been made available on our Facebook page, over 160 comments have been left. The issue has become emotionally charged. I would encourage people to regard the above as intended to spur Zambians to demand a near perfect comparison from Government - and not to throw stones at one another.

It has clearly come as a shock for many people that we had a new statutory instrument in 2012 that increased salaries of ministers. Not sure why. It should be noted that a piece of legislation was passed in 2009 that everyone interested in Ministerial pay should have read and be aware of. The Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices (Emoluments) (Amendment) Act, 2009. Section two of the principal act was amended with the following key clause inserted:
"There shall be paid to the holder of an office specified in the Schedule such salary and allowances as the Minister responsible for finance may prescribe, by statutory instrument, in consultation with the Standing Orders Committee of the National Assembly".
A similar clause was added in relation to constituency allowances. What this meant was that Cabinet (or minister responsible) sets the pay for ministers and MPs through a statutory instrument. Parliament has no say. It cannot even oppose - it can only be consulted. The key offices listed in the Schedule whose salaries can arbitrary increased at a stroke of a pen are:

1. Vice-President
2. Speaker
3. Deputy Speaker
4. Cabinet Minister
5. Leader of the Opposition
6. Chief Whip
7. Deputy Chief Whip
8. Deputy Minister
9. Deputy Chairperson of Committees
10. Private Member

It is just the way life is. This was created by MMD to by-pass the public. It is there in our laws. And PF used it in 2012 to increase the pay for ministers. So responsibility for these things now resides with the Executive. And those who have complaints about the above should direct their energy there. 


  1. It is better that ministers are well paid with transparent salary rather than corrupted like former MMD vampires

    1. But was PF RESPONSIBLE in increasing their salaries the way they did it and by 100% - yet they cannot give workers anything near that? It seems you just hate MMD and sing songs for your PF

  2. but one does not preclude the other...

    wait and see for the PF miniters...

    but stories about tax evasion not recovered (zambia sugar, but also, and most importantly, Mopani) are very shady...

  3. Thanks for your analysis. Could you provide me with your phone number to this email:


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