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MPs in the Money….Again

Kabelo Adamson

Public react to MPs 10 percent allowance increment

Despite earning close to P40, 000 a month – including a massive pay rise last April – the country’s Members of Parliament (MP) have long complained about a lack of transport when carrying out their constituency duties.

At Tuesday’s General Assembly, their grievances were answered as it was announced all MPs would receive a 10 percent salary increment to cover their travel allowances.

With the country currently locked in a momentous struggle to contain the killer coronavirus – a struggle that has left many wondering how they will feed their families in the upcoming weeks – the timing of this news was greeted with scorn by many, as The Voice’s KABELO ADASON discovered when he took to the streets of Gaborone on Thursday afternoon.

Tshepho Lebentlele, Telecom Technician
I think this is completely unfair. Right now I don’t have any money; as you can see I came here to take groceries on credit and somebody out there is getting an increase and that is not fair. I came all the way from Lobatse and was given a permit which will expire today just to come and get groceries on credit here in Gaborone because I have ran out of money and MPs have the audacity to increase their allowances – sies man!

Chuma Khawulani, Self-employed
I don’t see a problem with this because to use a personal car for official purposes, you will be using a family property. Effectively the car would not be yours alone; MPs should have official cars they use to perform their official duties. So personally, I’m fine with the 10 percent travel allowance because they will be working, given that they will be using that money to carry out their official duties for the good of their constituents.

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Gadimorome Thophego, Security Systems worker
For me I think it is unnecessary to give them 10 percent as an allowance because at this moment in time the focus should be on fighting Covid-19 virus. Right now we are working but there is no protective clothing, it is just us! Honestly, I don’t see any reason for the increment, because right now more resources should be channeled towards defeating the virus. Also I think this issue of six months of State of Emergency was unnecessary. We should have looked at the 28 days of Extreme Social Distancing and see how the situation turns out and then make a decision after that.

Karabo Lekgasa, 41, Security Guard
Well for me, I don’t think it should have been that way. So many businesses have closed yet we are expecting companies to pay salaries of their employees come month end. Where is the money going to come from when MPs are getting increments? We should have waited before making increments. Instead the focus should be on what we are going to do with those who are working as well as those who are unemployed.

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