A Zimbabwean deputy minister says he will donate his entire monthly salary to charity during his time in office.
Raj Modi, who was appointed deputy industry minister last month by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, says he knows what it feels like to be poor.
“I have the emotional intelligence and the empathy that enables me to walk in the shoes of the under-privileged,” he told the state-run Sunday News.
It’s not clear what a deputy minister earns, though it’s believed to be less than $3 000 a month.
Modi is a Zanu-PF MP, the only ruling party candidate to win a seat in the opposition stronghold of Bulawayo during the July 30 polls.
The 59-year-old businessman moved to Zimbabwe from India in the early 1980s. He told the state-run Chronicle in July that his first job was mopping floors and cleaning toilets in a Bulawayo clothes store.
Over the years Modi became a successful businessman and philanthropist; his family runs the Modi Family Trust that assists small businesses with start-up capital.
Writing on Twitter on Sunday, he said his private businesses would sustain him while he donated his government salary. “I am in government for the people,” he said.
On social media, a number of Zimbabweans received the news positively.
“Very selfless indeed. A man of the people for the people,” wrote @amlausi.
“That’s not a Zanu trait for sure. Good for you for behaving honourably,” said RTticking.
New Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube has promised to cut government jobs and spending after he recently unveiled an unpopular new two percent tax on all electronic transactions.
The tax, which has been opposed by the main Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and criticised by some civil rights groups, came into force on Saturday, according to the state-run Herald.