DRC: Outgoing govt. defends decree granting lifetime benefits worth $2,000 to ex-ministers

  • February 6, 2019

Standing firmly on its decision of granting former ministers lifetime salaries and other benefits, the outgoing government of Democratic Republic of Congo has stated that the payments ‘are not to enrich the officials.’

The outgoing government said the state was giving the ministers “a minimum to satisfy their basic needs, notably food, lodging and healthcare”.

The payments “are to stop them [ministers] from falling into destitution”, the statement says.

However, the two decrees, which grant former ministers benefits worth at least $2,000 (£1,530) received backlash from across the political spectrum.

Prime Minster Bruno Tshibala, who is due to submit his government’s resignation to new President Felix Tshisekedi in the coming days, signed the decrees last November, but they were only widely reported in the media last week.

One provides for former prime ministers, starting with Tshibala, to receive a monthly salary equivalent to 30 percent of the current prime minister’s, a monthly housing stipend of $5,000 and health care overseas.

The other decree calls for former ministers to receive monthly salaries equal to 30 percent of the current minister’s, a $1,000 monthly housing stipend and one international flight per year in business class.

A typical minister’s monthly salary is nearly $4,000, while the annual state budget is about $5 billion.

Patrick Nkanga, an adviser to President Joseph Kabila who stepped down last month to make way for Tshisekedi, also criticized the measure.

“Granting so many lifetime privileges to an entire former government is not consistent with our socio-economic context,” Nkanga wrote on Twitter. “It is excessive and needlessly costly for the public treasury.”

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