DR Congo Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala

The government of Democratic Republic of Congo adopted a decree which allows ministers to get salary during the whole life. They will also receive other benefits provided by the law.

Government said in a statement released on Monday that the payments “are not to enrich the officials”.

It adopted two decrees that grant former ministers benefits worth at least $2,000. These decision of the government was widely criticized.

The decrees were adopted when most of the Congolese population lives in poverty.

But the government officials stated that ministers were given “a minimum to satisfy their basic needs, notably food, lodging and healthcare”. Adding that the payments “are to stop them from falling into destitution.”

Despite of the adoption of these two decrees in November, they were widely reported recently.

According to the sources, the first decree grants former prime ministers monthly salaries equal to 30% of the current prime minister’s, one business class flight per year and monthly housing stipend of $5,000.

The second decree grants former ministers salaries equal to 30% of the current minister’s and $1,000 monthly towards accommodation. They will also receive one business class flight a year.

As it was stated, the decrees were strongly criticized across the country as well as in the political circles.

Former President Joseph Kabila’s adviser said ” they (decrees – ed.) are not consistent with our socio-economic context”.

Patrick Nkanga wrote on Twitter: “It is excessive and needlessly costly for the public treasury.” However, the government defended the decrees. Government officials said that only members of the current government and future government would receive the benefits, adding that the decrees were not retroactive.