FORMER Zambian first lady, Maureen Mwanawasa is entitled to a salary equivalent to 50 per cent of that of a serving Head of State following her husband’s death.
Zambia’s , Attorney General Mumba Malila is quoted as saying Mrs Mwanawasa is also entitled to a diplomatic passport and a fully paid foreign trip once in a year.
She is also entitled to a house to be constructed in an area of her choice by virtue of her being the widow of the former head of State.
“According to the Former Presidents Benefits Act, the widow is allowed to enjoy such benefits jointly with children below the age of 21 until she dies as long as she does not go into politics or joins the Government,” he is quoted as saying.
Mr Malila said the law also provides for a vehicle, a driver and a house servant and hoped that people would not trivialise the matter.
“While the former head of state is entitled to 80 per cent salary of the incumbent president, the widow is also entitled to 50 per cent salary of the serving president,” he said.
The entitlement of the first lady should not be politicised because it is just her entitlement as provided for by the law.
Mr Malila said the two former first ladies before Mrs Mwanawasa had not enjoyed this facility because their husbands were still alive and enjoying their benefits as provided for by the Act.
Meanwhile, reports from Lusaka say the Government plans to restrict the number of mourners to attend the Church service and burial of Mwanawasa.
Some roads in the city will on Wednesday be closed to facilitate the funeral procession of Mwanawasa.
In a statement, Secretary to the Cabinet, Joshua Kanganja said the number has been restricted to ensure an orderly and dignified Church service and burial of the late president, who died on August 19.
Members of the public were therefore encouraged to stay home and watch the proceedings on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) television as the events would be transmitted live.
“In order to have an orderly, solemn and dignified Church service and burial, the number of mourners that can attend will necessarily be limited.
Several African leaders are expected at the funeral.