Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 April 2023:
Last Thursday, members of parliament representing Sierra Leone’s main opposition party – the All People’s Congress (APC) rejected a new Welfare Bill that was tabled last week by the ruling SLPP in parliament.
The Bill proposed could see outgoing Members of Parliament (MPs) retaining one official vehicle, assigned three security guards, receive an annual allowance of $2,500 for furniture, as well as receive 80% of their salary for the rest of their lives, or an alternative one-off payment of $50,000.
The Bill was tabled as salaries of public and civil servants continue to lag behind the rate of inflation which currently stands at over 40%.
Minimum wage in Sierra Leone is NLe800 or $40.
“The Bill proposed could see outgoing Members of Parliament (MPs) retaining one official vehicle, assigned three security guards,….. “TSLT
This is ridiculous. MPs do not have official vehicles assigned to them so which vehicle(s) are they going to retain? Further, MPs with the exception of the Speaker do not have security officers assigned to them when they are in active service. Why would they want three security officers assigned to them when they are no longer in Parliament? Currently we have about 149 PMs. If all of them are to retire and the state is to assign three security officersto each of them for life, we will need 447 security officers taken away from operational duties just so as provide security for retired MPs until they die. Wow, I will like to see this proposed Bill.
This is not the first time that the issue of pay and benefits has been brought up by our MPs. Their salary was increased by at least 45% but they seem to want more.
The question is are we getting good value for money from our parliamentarians in terms of thier performance and are these further benefits affordable?
Parliamentarians have failed to hold the executive to account and bear the greatest responsibility for some of the challenges we are going through. These benefits cannot be justified and will result in rewarding for failure.
Sierra Leone’s economy is on a downward trend and cannot afford at this time to be giving generous severance payments when the rest of the Country is struggling to cope with the cost of living crisis.
When you are ruling over passive simpletons.
The average Sierra Leonean is very simple and does not want anything.
” Never say Never “. The fact that MPs are voted for to ascend the seats in paliament really matters to any reasonable man. But taking a look at the past, how many MPs have retired that actually own a befitting recognition in his/her constituents. How many MPs have we ever heard of to be prominently engaged in developmental strides such as agriculture, trade and industries, peace building to his/her people in his/her constituency after retirement? How many?
How many MPs have we heard of after their retirement that are engaged in civic and public education in their constituencies about the relevance of their work as MPs in ensuring that their community people know that the laws of the land should be respected and that it didn’t just come into existence by magic but through their own participation? By doing so there will be ease on the burden of the law enforcement entities. Instead, they will sit and watch to see things get out of hand because of dirty politics and allow their people to suffer blindly. All they will like to hear at the end of the day is Amnesty International reports about the hardeness of the law enforcement entities in preserving peace.
In my opinion, I believe that MPs deserve more than we expect them to have now. But they themselves have failed to make the opportunity right for them. Each time they enter the house of parliament, what comes into their minds is to oppose each other. Never have we heard of MPs debating on a bill that will empower them to work with their constituencies law enforcement entities to help sensitize their people about the maintenance of law and order in the society. It is they themselves that enact these laws which men have to obey.
So think of it intuitively, where there is no law and order, the people perished. This is one of the reasons why Sierra Leone and Sierra Leoneans are still poor and impoverished. Year after year we have come through conflicts, scamishes, distractions,
ill advices, strikes, and deteriorating political upheavals that have bent this nation to ground. We sometimes look at the west and admire them failing to realize that the role of their MPs is so great that it has helped defined who they truly are today.
I still believe that someone, somewhere will someday change this paradigm.
I THINK the GREEDY, SELFISH, and Desperately WICKED MPs are requesting that the wealth of the country be buried with them.