MPs need salaries and allowances to help develop constituencies
Posted Sunday, February 24 2013 at 02:00
I write in response to an article that featured in the media putting MPs’ remuneration to question and thereby deriving a qualification equation that could be used as a determinant to salaries.
I do sincerely concur with the writer that the 370 MPs are a huge drain on our national resources.
We ought to find ways of scaling down that burden and allocate funding to the most wanting sectors in the country. In fact when constituencies were reduced in size thereby increasing numerically, contestants for posts like MPs, LCVs were shielded from tougher opponents and many easily made it to the top. Perhaps, we could borrow a leaf from the British Parliament which is divided into the House of Lords and the House of Commons.
However, we should stop murmuring about the salaries and allowances given to facilitate MPs. Politics, sports and the military rely more on one’s charisma like strength, courage, wisdom, humour and oratory skills. Such attributes cannot be acquired through education; they can only be enhanced by it. Some Ugandan politicians with PHDs and similar awards have vied for the presidential and parliamentary posts but were routed by opponents with lesser CVs. They are well educated but not endowed with the wit to articulate issues. Some live in seclusion far away from the voters only to surface during election time.
President Museveni has exhibited a successful military career not because he is a muscular Sandhurst graduate. He was able to educate himself through personal experience, traditional methods and association with the Frelimo and other freedom fighters. Therefore, the duty one performs is a justifiable way of deriving salary amounts rather than just the papers attained.
Should retail trade like grocery shops be left to those with a Masters Degree in Business? With that line of thought, Kiprotich shouldn’t have received the Olympics gold medal! Here are some reasons why MPs should receive adequate remuneration:-
• Since they represent thousands who will keep visiting them from time to time, their dwellings should possess the capacity to handle guests without stress, shame and reproach.
• To facilitate them in exercising benevolence to those in need and participate in activities like fund-raising.
• In order to execute duties both in constituencies far and near, and within Parliament appropriately without financial constraints.
• An incentive to work hard, represent the constituents suitably so as to deserve another term of office.
The issue of salaries and minimum wages is wanting and widespread. It is an aspect that requires urgent attention putting many factors into consideration. It shouldn’t be done summarily to plunge the country into hyperinflation. I am glad that legislators have moved a motion to set a minimum wage and I hope they will achieve it within this dispensation. We should learn to present our cause with patience and avoid bickering by making improper comparisons.