Civil servants should brace themselves for hard times ahead as the Zambian Treasury is now having challenges mobilizing money to pay the salaries on times, as the coffers are reportedly “dry” due to loan repayments and the huge travel expenses by President Edgar Lungu, a Ministry of Finance source has revealed.
The Ministry of Finance source, who sought anonymity for fear of victimization, told the Zambian Watchdog Tuesday 19th May that Secretary to the Treasury, Fredson Yamba was having challenges in mobilizing salaries especially for teachers and other civil servants. During the reign of the late President Michael Sata civil servants especially teachers with accounts at ZANACO would get their salaries by the 16th or 17th of every month.
“As we are speaking the Secretary to the Treasury has written a note to the Head of State where he is seeking permission that all civil servants should be getting their salaries at the end of the month about 30th like in the olden days.
“The coffers are dry because we are paying back a lot of money because of the debts we have acquired over time and also the high expenditure in the travel of the President. You know when the President travels he moves with a lot of people and the allowances they get are so much,” said the source.
Meanwhile some civil servants spoken to by the Watchdog around the country confirmed that since President Lungu’s ascension to power, salaries were being delayed.
“We really miss our late President, he seemed to understand our problems. It seems he was the only person who really understood the suffering of the people of Zambia. The current crop is more focused on keeping themselves in power and enjoying themselves. By today during those days of President Sata most of us would be have been paid,” said one civil servant
Efforts to get a comment from Secretary to the Treasury failed by press time while Chief Government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili rudely hang up when asked to comment on the matter.
A number of organisations have expressed concern on the wanton borrowing by the PF government especially under Edgar Lungu. It wont be surprising if they start borrowing to pay civil servants.