Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Senegalese president cuts civil servants pay

Senegalese President Macky Sall owns amongst others a 699-square-metre villa worth 533,000 euros and a 2,000-square-metre piece of land in Dakar's upmarket subur

AFP PHOTO / SEYLLOU Senegalese President Macky Sall owns amongst others a 699-square-metre villa worth 533,000 euros and a 2,000-square-metre piece of land in Dakar's upmarket subur 

By TAMBA JEAN-MATTHEW NATION Correspondent and Agencies

DAKAR, Tuesday

The government of Senegal has announced that salaries of civil servants will no longer exceed five million francs, approximately two thousand five hundred dollars (KSh207,500).

The Le Quotidien newspaper on has reported that the decision was in keeping with President Macky Sall’s ongoing drive to eradicate corruption.

During his campaign, President Sall had also promised to attain economic prosperity for all and bridge the gap between the rich and poor.

Before the decision was made, President Sall had said he felt “scandalised” on realising that salaries of some junior civil servants were twice as higher as their ministers.

Le Quotiden newspaper reported for instance that the monthly salary of the outgoing director of the agency for the regulation of post and telecommunications was 14 million francs, approximately $70,000 (Ksh5.8m).

The source also published the monthly salaries of the outgoing directors of the sea port and that of the rural electrification as 11 and nine million francs or $50,000 and $45,000 respectively.

The paper drew a ridiculous analogy between the salary of the outgoing director of the sea port at11 million francs and his former boss, the minister of environment and maritime affairs who earned about 3.5 million francs (about $7,000 a month.

But analysts are expressing doubts over the duration of the decision by President Sall, arguing that he may have to reconsider his decision and adjust the salaries upwards.

“President Sall is heading for trouble,” Mr Mbaye Fall, an economics professor told Africa Review, adding” no minister can survive comfortably on $2;500” (KSh207,500) a month.

Last Thursday, President Sall signed a decree establishing a court to try economic and financial crimes and particularly those civil servants whose assets would rise over their incomes.

Several former senior civil servants are expected to be roped in before the court in the coming weeks or months.

Meanwhile, ministers of the new government are still declaring their assets in keeping with the new political dispensation.

Last week, President Sall declared assets worth two million euros ($2.6 million) in a presentation to the country’s highest court.

The declaration was made public after being published in the government’s gazette on April 24.

Mr Sall, who was elected on March 25 after a crushing victory over incumbent Abdoulaye Wade, owns a 699-square-metre villa worth 533,000 euros and a 2,000-square-metre piece of land in Dakar’s upmarket suburbs.

In Houston, Texas, he owns a 300-metre-square apartment valued at $220,000.

In Senegal, Sall also has several other houses, pieces of land and shares in two real estate agencies, the gazette listed.

He owns a fleet of 35 vehicles “used mainly for political activities” for the ruling party.

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