Zitto na Demokrasia

Zitto na Demokrasia

Scrap Sitting Allowances, Create Jobs

with 12 comments

By Zitto Kabwe

Our Parliament

For the last two weeks there has been a fierce debate on allowances given to members of parliament fuelled by recent revelations by two leading dailies Mwananchi and The Citizen. The revelations were first denied by the Clerk of the National Assembly but later in a swift move confirmed by the Speaker.

Members of Parliament herein referred as MPs are entitled to various allowances in conducting their affairs. According to the National Assembly administration act these are subsistence allowance, travel allowances, constituency allowance and for those holding parliamentary portfolios a responsibility allowance. Sitting allowance is paid to MPs everyday he or she attends a committee meeting or parliamentary debate. However this allowance is not mentioned in the law. Currently an MP receives TZS 70,000 ($40) a day as sitting allowance.

A member of Parliament in Tanzania receives a monthly salary as a renumeration for the legislative, representative and oversight role he or she does. On top of that he or she is paid for sitting! Sounds ridiculous for sure.

During the 5th session of Parliament which ended in November 2011, MPs lobbied for an increase in allowances claiming that costs of living have skyrocketed. MPs are paid per diem to cover costs of living, but in an interesting move the Parliamentary service commission passed a resolution to increase a sitting allowance to TZS 200,000 ($130) a day.

Sitting allowance doesn’t address the challenge of cost of living, it is subsistence allowance that is pegged to costs of living. I asked one of my colleague who serves in the Parliamenatary Service Commission about this and she said, per diem applies to all civil servants so an increment to it would mean an increment to all civil servants so it must be avoided. And they did avoid and went ahead directing The Clerk to effect new rates. The Clerk refused as the law requires that the President of the United Republic approve the new increment in writing. Hence the divided stand between the Clerk and the Speaker. When the news reached investigative and news hungry editors of the media the difference between them was all out and the public outcry was huge.

The President hasnt approved the new increment so far, some credible sources say that Speaker didn’t even attempt to send the requests to the President. The Parliamentary Service Commission met over the weekend and revoked their proposal. Media has played its role and the public won. A senior parliamentary staff told me the other day, that the whole matter was a hoax. MPs pressured the Speaker to increase allowances and even threatened her that she will be relieved from her post. Speaker in turn pressured the Clerk to pay new rates contrary to the laws and regulations. Public through media pressured both of them and the President did not dare increase the sitting allowances rate. So far the public has won.

Is it a temporary victory? Definitely yes.

The highest prize is scrapping sitting allowances regime altogether. Paying an MP for sitting isn’t justified. The public, NGOs/civil society organisations and the media should campaign towards this to the very end. The allowances culture is killing our Nation as it misdirect public funds from public investments to current spending. It kills our working culture as public office holders keep attending meeting after meeting to earn sitting allowances instead of working.

Our country faces mountain of challenges, it requires us to work and create an enabling environment for economic activities that create jobs, add value to our produce, increase our exports, produce more food and generate more electricity. Otherwise no one will call us a nation.

Scrap sitting allowances, create jobs to the people.

Written by zittokabwe

December 13, 2011 at 3:15 PM

12 Responses

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  1. well said mh. but wud u mind adding a swahili version for watanzania tuliosomea chini ya mti pia tupate ujumbe!!
    asante,

    vicky.

    vicky

    December 13, 2011 at 4:18 PM

  2. haingii akilin hata ingekua mnaishi ktkt ya vichaa. maisha magumu kwenu tu? mbona kuna wafanyakaz wengine wapo dodoma na mishara yao midogo na hawajaongezewa hata mshahara? but dont worry ccm sio mungu kwa nchi hii. hata isingekuwepo sTanzania ingekuwepo tu.

    kabolile

    December 13, 2011 at 5:03 PM

  3. Zitto! you ‘re the man,and don’t give up to demanding the rights of poor Tanzanian.You ‘re the leader of the poor people,because you derived the power from them.If stupid people are trying to pull you down,proud about it ,because it only confirms you are above them.Today,Tanzanian are living in absolutely poverty,but few people “MP’s” claiming that the costs of living have skyrocketed! Some Governments servants gets 200,000Tshs as a monthly salary and some gets lesser than this! But,MP’s gets the total of 330.000Tshs per day,Wizi mtupu.

    I wishing you a good heath and God blessing you.

    Bernard Mong'ateko

    December 13, 2011 at 5:50 PM

  4. well said. tatizo letu Watz tutalalamika leo kesho tumesahau jamaa wanaendelea kulamba. goood pipo!

    pipo

    December 13, 2011 at 8:28 PM

  5. Shame upon Ann Makinda The Head of Legislature who is blind minded.. I have seen PoorBrain Leaders in Tanzania but Makinda is the Exceptional. How dare she speaks such shameful words before the Public.. Shameful decision…

    Makinda You Lost My Confidence..

    Shame on You.

    Tawab Yahya

    December 14, 2011 at 5:35 AM

    • Shame on her!

      Mohamed O. Daddy Namahala

      December 16, 2011 at 1:19 PM

  6. […] no one will call us a nation. Scrap sitting allowances, create jobs to the people. Source: https://zittokabwe.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/scrap-sitting-allowances… Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit […]

  7. Really,when an important state organ like BUNGE come together and give blessing of Sting allowances,is the sign of failled state with failled society.
    Kaka go on,Tanzania as a Nation [wananchi] is with you.Why teachers,Doctors and Madiwani who are working with local people daily they are being neglected in those sitting allowances,they fail to employ youth by the say that inabidi wajiajili in private sector,the Government does not have money to employ but it holds sitting allowances!!!,they have copied and pasted European Slogan of Kujiajiri,without knowing that our fellows what they did,it was to institutionalise all public sector by being holded by very qualified and competent people from the ministrial level to the local government level,Surely it works with effect in production.
    What the government did to the rest of majority who are seiking employment is through reforming policies that work,policies that could deliver the change to the un employed youth.
    Here in Tanzania utasikia Mjiajiri,serikli haina pesa,while they are stilling and mis allocating resources,from the minstrial to the village government,If is competent and Qualified whi is holding the position usishangae ana kaimu nafasi 5 yeye mwenyewe, but also important positions is being hold by uzoefu wa kukaa ofisini and not by one’s compentence and qualification.,leading to failure in delivering and management in crisis,twambieni tukajiajiri tukiwa na uhakika kwamba all position’s has been holded by compence and qualified with transparence within it.,then come with policies that works,do not mis use financial resources allocate it to the youth.
    Pia vipi mifuko ya majimbo inafanyanini?wabunge wanashindwa kuibunia ajira for their wananchi?[youth]!!!!!!!!!!!!,haiwezekani?

    Emmanuel Adamson Mwakajila

    December 14, 2011 at 2:22 PM

  8. Time has come for the real Tanzanians to stand against these ridiculous opression. when they were sitting for the budget the TUCTA leaders asked them to raise the min. salary to 310,000/= per month. They rejected that the Government has no money and instead they they raised it from 135,000 to 150,000 per month( an increase of 11%). But that same time they have raised their allowance from Tsh. 70,000 to 200,000 per day( an increase of 185%). IKNOW ZITTO HAS ALWAYS BEEN WITH US( WANYONGE) AND WE STILL BELIEVE HE IS ON OUR SIDE! LETS UNITE AND DROP CCM DOWN. THEIR DOWN FALL HAS COME

    Musa, Majaliwa

    December 14, 2011 at 4:25 PM

  9. Sehemu nyingine sekta ya afya!watu wanalipishwa mafundo ya kuuza madawa muhimu,garama zipo juusana watu walaumu.

    Andrew

    December 14, 2011 at 4:42 PM

  10. Ni aibu spika kutamka posho inaongezwa kwakuwa maisha yamepanda je ni kwa wabunge tu? spika ameonyesha ubinafsi wa hali ya juu . pesa mbele wala sio kuhudumia wananchi. kuna watanzania mshahara haufuki laki mbili kwa siku thelathin(mwezi) nyie mlipwe laki mbili kwa siku kwa misingi ipi? hata watu muhimu kama madaktari wanalia njaa ambao ndio wanastahili kulipwa posho ya laki mbili sio wana siasa ambao hawana msaada wowote zaidi ya porojo na kunufaisha familia zao. chadema piganeni tuko nyuma yenu mmeonyesha njia wabunge wenu hawana tamaa ya fedha.

    ALEX KIBINDA

    December 16, 2011 at 1:14 AM

  11. Selfishness seems on Makinda’s face. Thumb up Hon zitto!

    Mohamed O. Daddy Namahala

    December 16, 2011 at 1:22 PM


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