Some Members of Parliament showed dissatisfaction on their salaries today during a parliament session. The national assembly was discussing a motion that was seeking to set up an independent commitee to review salaries of politicians, judges amongst others.
“Members of Parliament sitting allowance must be defined , it is very low when compared to that of parastatals” Member of Parliament for Nata/Gweta- Honourable Paulson Majaga commented.
For his part, the Member of Parliament for Boteti East- Honourable Sethomo Lelatisitswe, who is also the Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness indicated that the way their salaries are low, being a Member of Parliament is like being a pastor as it is more like volunteerism.
“Outside, Batswana think we are getting a lot of money, they do not know that even our subordinates earn more than us. Being a Member of Parliament is a calling, just like being a pastor.” Lelatisitswe asserted.
Lelatisitswe further suggested that it is important for the national assembly to be empowered, and be given liberty to hire its own stuff. Currently, the Department of Public Service Management (DPSM) is responsible for hiring and firing across all government departments except for the local government and parastatals.
Meanwhile, the Vice President His Honor Slumber Tsogwane, who is also the Member of Parliament for Boteti West warned members of parliament against greed. He urged them to lead by example especially now when the government is complaining of lack of funds.
“We as politicians must be examplary, it is better for us to starve when there is no money, instead of civil servants”
The Vice President also comdemned the comments that if such commitee is being set up it will be dominated by the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members.
The issue of salary increments is one of the few that bring Members of Parliament from both sides of the isle in unity. It is in this issue where most of the time both opposition parties and the ruling party agree unanimously even when there is an issue of shortage of funds.