Dar es Salaam, London – In a first-of-its-kind step, Tanzanian President John Magufuli has revealed he earns a salary of 9 million Tanzanian shillings ($4,000) per month, making him one of the lowest paid African leaders as he pursues a much-criticized policy of deep public spending cuts.
In a speech to local officials in the capital, he also said his government had slashed salaries of executives at state-owned companies at 15 million Tanzanian shillings ($6,700) a month, more than his own.
He added: “They can leave if they don’t want it.”
He also explained that abuse of public funds was “rampant” at state firms and that he had rejected requests from some local officials to more than double their allowances, saying he could not do so while many citizens lack access to water, health care and electricity.
Since taking office in November 2015, Magufuli — nicknamed “the Bulldozer” — has cut government spending by imposing measures such as restrictions on foreign travel for government officials.
Magufuli’s salary is a small fraction of that of other African leaders. By contrast Kenya’s president earns a monthly salary of around $14,000, and Jacob Zuma of South Africa is paid around $20,000 monthly.