The Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) has charged that demands by Members of Parliament to have their salaries increased are outrageous and tantamount to highway robbery.
FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza says MPs should take time to understand their role as public servants and not turn politics into fund-raising ventures for enriching themselves at the expense of poor voters.
Mr. Mwanza explained that their demands are unwarranted as MPs do not only enjoy hefty allowances but that most of their services and goods are subsidized by tax payers.
“The call by some Members of Parliament to have their salaries increased yet again is outrageous and tantamount to highway robbery.
“From the reasons advanced, it is very clear that these MPs do not fully understand their role as public servants and they view politics as a
fund-raising venture and not as a selfless service to the people.
“To begin with members of Parliament enjoy hefty allowances and subsidized services and goods. The cars they drive are tax- free; the National Assembly Motel they sleep in is tax- free even the beer and the buffets they enjoy are tax – free,” Mr. Mwanza explained.
Mr. Mwanza wondered what job the MPs are doing to deserve such huge amounts when they are already getting K250, 000 for just sitting around for two and half years when no civil servant in the country earns so much money in such a short time.
“Secondly these MPs are entitled to
hefty gratuities. Imagine they will each get K250, 000 for sitting and yelling ‘Hear! Hear!’ for two and a half years. Which public service employee can get K250, 000 for working for two and half years?
Thirdly, what job are they doing to deserve all these luxuries that they are waxing themselves in at the expense of their voters? Can they first prove their worthiness to their voters before they ask to eat?” Mr. Mwanza noted.
Mr. Mwanza challenged the MPs to remember that politics is a noble calling to serve and not to eat and that they should not turn the sacred vocation of serving people into a money- making venture.
He further challenged the MPs who are not satisfied to quit politics and venture into entrepreneurship.
And the opposition party has proposed that a body be established to deal with the emoluments and entitlements for constitution office bearers so as to curtail the greed that has crept into constitutional institution.
“1. That an Independent Service Commission should be established to be the body tasked to deal with the issues of emoluments and entitlements of MPs and all Constitution Office Bearers to bring an end to this greed and self -aggrandizement
“2. That legislation should be passed to compel each MP to have periodical visits and community meetings in his/her constituency to converse important issues with the electorates and that such undertakings should be financed by the state to crack down on ‘absentee’ MPs.
“3. That National Assembly Constituency Offices should be properly funded and equipped in order to serve as avenues that electorates can use as resource centers to keep themselves abreast with the happenings in the House.”
This is contained in a statement released to the media by party spokesperson Antonio Mwanza.