By Dickson Jere

Health Minister Sylvia Masebo has touched a thorny issue – salaries of quasi-government institutions and regulatory authorities. She said they are too high and junior staff even get paid higher than the Permanent Secretary in their line ministries. This is not new problem but successive governments have grappled with it.

In 2010, President Rupiah Banda appointed a Salaries Review Commission to address this issue. The Report must be sitting somewhere at Cabinet Office gathering dust. It had far-reaching recommendations to help deal with the problem.

You see, salaries in public sector must he streamlined for effective performance. ZRA and NAPSA salaries are usually higher than those in mainstream ministries. A director at the ministry gets salary lower than his junior in rank at a parastatal or quasi-government institution. This creates problems. Civil servants usually opt to leave and join these quasi-government institutions when their source of funds is the same.

Further, our Constitution as amended in 2016 provides for the establishment of the Remuneration Commission, which has never been operationalised. This Commission will certainly help deal with the problems of discrepancies in salaries. I hope this will be effected soon to help address concerns raised by Minister Masebo.


  1. with all due respect, this woman made chongwe council workers to be the lowest paid among councils in the country. she blocked increments for those in management even after president chiluba increased salaries across the board for all council workers. she argued that unionized workers were the ones whose salaries were increased only. after intepretation by attorney generals chambers, that all council workers in all ranks were included, Chongwe council harmonized salaries for those in management to make up for missed opportunity but this woman prevailed through council chairperson and reversed it despite attorney general intepreting the law and guiding accordingly. That is the same mindset she is trying to bring to the table again involving parastatal and quasi government institutions. that mindset costed her an election. she was ku wire for a long time.


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