Prime-Minister Dr Moeketsi Majoro and his Deputy Mathibeli Mokhuthu will be getting M 1.3million richer for their services as holders of the most glamorous state positions in the country.
This is according to a legal instrument released earlier this month.
The Members of Parliament Salaries (Amendment of Schedule) Regulations, 2020 released on October 2, 2020 depicts the premier’s salary as a whooping M709 296 while Mokhothu shall be pocketing M612 564 in 2020.
This means that the leaders of the All Basotho Convention (ABC)- Democratic Congress (DC) pact will be smiling all the way to bank for monthly earnings over M50 000.
The Majoro household will be getting at least M59 108 happier (this is excluding wages received by the premier’s spouse for her official responsibilities as the First Lady), while Mokhothu will be M51 047 richer each month.
Although the gazette which also entails packages for other members of parliament is dated October 02, 2020, it shall be deemed to have come into operation on the first day of April this year, the effect of which is thousands worth of back pay for the Category A earners as well as other members of parliament as dictated by the regulations.
Over and above the said salaries, they shall be entitled to a litany of other benefits and privileges.
The Prime-Minister is entitled to inter alia, a fully resourced, furnished and staffed State House, vehicles, usually at siren and blue lamp motorcade, inclusive of a chauffeur-driven government black Mercedes Benz S500 with full security for both official and private business, and a Lexus RX 450-SE utility vehicle.
The Premier is also entitled to a tax-free annual entertainment allowance to be determined by ministers responsible, a tax-free expenses allowance to an amount of M6000 per month, five days holiday anywhere in the world at full government expense including full per diem for self and spouse every year and official travel in first class, 100% per diem and 25% entertainment allowance alongside spouse at full government expense and 50% per diem.
He shall also be entitled to a tax-free gratuity at 25% of the gross salary paid at the end of two years continuous service or prorated to the time served if it is less than two years, as well as a tax-free death gratuity which shall be four times the annual salary.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Prime-Minister shall be entitled to similar privileges as the premier but at lesser values and amounts after the following manner; a fully furnished rent-free government house and maintained surroundings or a housing allowance of M5500 per month, he shall purchase a black Mercedes Benz S400 for both official and private business, the car shall be fully insured, maintained and fuelled at government expense for the duration of its warranty after which it shall be replaced by owner, it shall also be privately registered at the cost of the owner but shall retain government registration for security and protocol purposes.
He shall also be entitled to a Lexus RX 350-EX utility vehicle. Other benefits shall be as those enjoyed by premier except that annual holiday shall be permissible to anywhere in Africa, while official travel covers 20% entertainment allowance with accompanying spouse entitled to 50% per diem.
During his tenure as Finance Minister, Dr Majoro announced the need for restraint in the spending of government funds including reducing entourages for senior government officials including banning first class travel for especially members of cabinet, although it appears that they are legally entitled thereto.
Other members of parliament covered in the said legislation include Ministers who are on Category B alongside Speaker of the National Assembly with a salary of M 593 088, while President of Senate, Leader of Opposition, Deputy Minister and Deputy Speaker of National Assembly are on Category C and salaried at the rate of 511 968, this is despite the Senate being referred to as the upper house of Parliament. Vice-President of Senate also on Category C fetches a 502 272 pay.
Other members of the legislature are at Category D and salaried at M451 752 for Member of the National Assembly and M431 604 for a Senator.
Other benefits are as those enjoyed by higher category earners although at differing amounts for utilities, housing and expenses allowance among others.
While in previous editions Members of Parliament were also entitled to a tax-free M500 000 loan serviced by government were parliament to collapse prematurely before the legal five-year term, the 2020 regulations do not include such a benefit.