The newly elected president of Zambia, Hakainde Hichilema has gone 8 months without a public salary.
As a Nigerian, news like this might seem like a fiction but in this case, it’s real life. According to Hichilema, money and a salary wasn’t his reason for seeking public office.
The ministry responsible for paying presidential wages and allowances said the President has forgone wages “in his interest to serve the public”.
Speaking to reporters, Hichilema said
“The issue of the salary is a non-issue because money was not our motivation for seeking public office and not that the government was not willing to pay. It is just that I have not paid attention to that [presidential salary]”
“My intention and motivation is to see how we can better the lives of the people.” He added.
The 59-year-old became Zambia’s president in August 2021, defeating Edgar Lungu, the incumbent President by more than a million votes. During his campaign, he promised to heal an ailing Zambian economy by rooting out corruption and creating jobs for the masses, especially youths.
Since becoming President, he’s also been residing in his private residence instead of the official residence of the Zambian president located within State House grounds.