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Home » News » Parliament » Kablay pushes for MPs salary increment

Kablay pushes for MPs salary increment

Publishing Date : 20 December, 2016

Author : UTLWANANG GASENNELWE

Maverick ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chief whip in parliament and Letlhakane/Lephephe law maker, Liakat Kablay is calling for a salary increment for Members of Parliament (MPs) across the political aisle.

 

When speaking to WeekendPost this week Kablay stated blatantly that he was representing all MPs and pushing for their welfare; particularly the BDP backbenchers’ who he said have been abandoned and “feel precluded”.

 

According to Kablay, they worry more because of the “low wages and benefits”.

 

The opinionated cum non-conformist ruling party legislator highlighted with vigour that salary raises for the lawmakers was long overdue.  “We have proposed around 20% of salary increase at the Office of the President (OP) and it has been almost 1 year while awaiting response,” Kablay lamented.

 

The outspoken lawmaker observed that at least all political parties represented in parliament agree on the increase unreservedly. He said it has been years since their salaries were increased, adding that they need better conditions of service.

 

MP’s want constituency automobiles

 

“Parliamentarians want conditions of service improved especially an introduction of constituency vehicles that they can use on official duties at their constituencies as some areas are wide-ranging and it is so costly to transverse the whole constituency,” Kablay cried out on behalf of other MPs in an interview.

 

He added that the state of affairs is detrimental to progresses of the area being reached and this may also affect the incumbents from retaining their respective parliamentary seats.

 

The ruling party law maker labelled the lack of constituency vehicles by MPs as a “disgrace” to the “Honourable” men and women citing an example of Social Workers whom he said are allocated transport by government at their respective places particularly in rural and subjugated areas.

 

According to the BDP Chief Whip, if there is no salary augmentation as yet, which looks likely, the government should then donate cars to them to relief them at their various constituencies. He dismissed the suggestion that they have parliamentary automobiles saying they only transport them to the national assembly from the parliamentary flats and vice versa and “that’s not enough”.

 

He further argued that in a year they are only allowed to use the cars four times travelling to the constituency only. 

 

Kablay: “we are not jealous of the ministers but…”

 

The BDP backbencher also took a swipe at the executive pointing out that while as MPs they lack constituency based vehicles, ministers and Assistant Ministers are chauffeured around in luxurious two separate cars for each.

 

He said: “Ministers and Assistant Ministers have Prados that they use to travel to their constituencies and other cars (Mercedes Benz or BMW model) that they use to perform ministerial duties and that may also extend to when travelling to funerals, weddings and other social functions.”

 

“But just imagine, as MPs we only want one automobile to travel to our constituency kgotla meetings,” the Letlhakane/Lephephe legislator fired while adding that they are not “jealous” of the ministers but want to further caution them that they may be dropped at any point and join the backbench which he described as “mostly mistreated and overlooked”.

 

He pointed out that as a ruling party chief whip, when things go wrong he speaks up unequivocally from the front row without fear of retributions from anywhere.

 

He also stressed that democracy is expensive and should be handled as such particularly when making sure that crucial developmental information reaches the people who have sent them to represent them at parliament.

 

Kablay sits in the parliamentary committee of Members Rights and Interest and Privileges. The committee basically looks into the welfare of the MPs from time to time. He said what he is advocating for is what the committee wants as well, and they are still waiting for response from the OP after submitting crucial proposals.

 

Other members of the committee include BDP MP for Mahalapye West Joseph Molefhe, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)’s Shawn Ntlhaile who represents Jwaneng/Mabutsane constituency as well as Gaborone North’s UDC legislator Haskins Nkaigwa who also chairs the committee.

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