Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli on Tuesday shocked the whole of Africa when he revealed he earns way less than his counterparts.
In a televised speech to the Association of Local Authorities on the importance of his anti-corruption drive in Tanzania, Magufuli revealed that he earns a salary of 9 million Tanzanian shillings ($4,000) per month, making him one of the lowest paid African leaders.
In the speech, the 57-year-old defended his much-criticized policy of deep public spending cuts as he also revealed that his government had slashed salaries of executives at state-owned companies to 15 million Tanzanian shillings ($6,700) a month.
“They can leave if they don’t want it,” he said about the executives who earn more than he does.
He said the abuse of public funds was “rampant” at state-owned companies and that he had rejected requests from some local officials to more than double their allowances.
The leader nicknamed ‘the bulldozer’ maintained that he could not do so while many citizens lack access to water, healthcare, and electricity.
“Some board members of public organizations used to travel all the way to Dubai to hold their meetings there just so that they could pay themselves a hefty amount of per diems. They certainly don’t like what my government is doing now,” he said.
Since taking office in November 2015, Magufuli has managed to cut government spending by imposing measures such as restrictions on foreign travel for government officials and the removal of “ghost workers” from the state payroll.
Critics have, however, argued that the policy will undermine efforts made to grow the country’s economy. It is said that investment in some of the sectors such as mining has already slowed down because of the measures.
How Magufuli’s Salary Compares To Other African Leaders
Magufuli’s Salary is a small fraction of that of other African leaders. It is also around a quarter of what his predecessor, Jakaya Kikwete, was earning.
By contrast, Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta earns around $14,000 per month. Even the average MCA in Kenya earns just under $5000 with MPs taking home just under $7000.
South African leader, Jacob Zuma, is paid around $20,000 monthly, following a salary increase by parliament in 2015.