By CHUSA SICHONE –
THE Government has withdrawn the motor vehicle replacement allowance and eligible offices will revert to their previous conditions of service effective January next year.
Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska said in a statement yesterday that the K32, 715.20 he announced through Cabinet Office Circular No. 12 of 2018 he issued on June 15, 2018 had been withdrawn.
“Considering the austerity measures currently in place, the motor vehicle replacement allowance has been withdrawn effective January 1, 2019 and that the eligible offices would revert to their previous conditions of service. The withdrawal was done by letters dated November 13 and 14, 2018.
“It can be clearly shown that the motor vehicle replacement allowance is a non-statutory condition of service, and, as stated, effected through Cabinet Office by way of circular,” Dr Msiska said.
Dr Msiska said some Members of Parliament demanded that they also benefit from the motor vehicle replacement allowance, but that the Government was unable to extend it to them and at the same time implement it for ministers as it was not fiscally possible.
Dr Msiska said Circular No. 12 of 2018 was also applicable to parliamentary presiding officers, who had similar conditions of service as those serving in the Executive arm of Government.
He said the K32,715.20 motor vehicle replacement allowance was to be payable at monthly through the payroll effective January 1, 2018.
The allowance had been introduced as a more cost-effective measure as the Government would no longer have to spend on maintenance and insurance coupled with bearing the replacement costs every so often.
The Government, through Circular No. 12 of 2018 had also abolished the provision of free furniture for ministers’ houses apart from abolishing personal-to-holder vehicles, which were entitlements since Independence, was part of the austerity measures.