Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is one second African president who earns the lowest salary. According to a list of salaries compiled by African Review team, Museveni earns $13,000 equivalent to Shs 43,199,000.00 (Shs 43m from Shs 36m in 2011).
He is the second last on the least of lowly paid presidents with the very last being the president of Sierra Leone who earns $12,000.
According to African Review, Nigeria’s H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, recently announced that he and his deputy would take a pay cut but still earns a cool $70,000.
In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto last year announced a voluntary 20 per cent salary cut leaving Uhuru at a whooping $152,000.
In Tunisia, former President Moncef Marzouki, then facing an economic crisis in the post-revolution period, announced a two-thirds pay cut, slicing his annual pay from around $176,868 to ‘just’ $58,956.
In many African countries, the first thing leaders do when they come into power is to increase their pay:
In Egypt, for instance, the president’s pay shot up from a paltry $280 per month, put in place by the austere Mohammed Morsy administration, to $5,900 per month just before General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi predictably won an election.
In other countries, leaders take a disproportionate share of the national income for their personal use. In Morocco, the Treasury spends, by one account, $1 million a day for King Mohammed VI’s 12 royal palaces and 30 private residences.
That is on top of $7.7 million spent on an entourage of royal automobiles, and a monthly salary of $40,000 paid to the monarch.
In 2014, King Mswati of Swaziland increased his personal budget, which includes his salary and the welfare of his extensive family, by 10 per cent to $61 million, a significant chunk of the kingdom’s overall budget. As the royal budget isn’t debated or passed by Parliament, it automatically became law.
Some presidents have deceptively small salaries but have, personally or through family members, massive control over their countries’ resources.
For example, President Eduardo dos Santos has a modest monthly salary of $5,000 but is widely believed to control a lot of the wealth produced from Angola’s oil-industry, and his family members own some of the biggest enterprises in the country.
The Africa Review was unable to establish the official salary for Teodoro Obiang’ Nguema Mbasogo, the long-serving president of the oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, but it probably doesn’t matter.
The highest paid African president is Paul Biya of Cameroon who earns a staggering $610,000 (like Shs 2bn) followed by the Moroccan and South African presidents at a respectable $410,000 and $272,000 distance.
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