From: Claudia Anthony
Western Area Rural
To: Members of Parliament
Dear Honourable Members of the Second Session of the Fourth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone,
Subject: A citizen’s advice on your proposed 300% increment on parliamentarians’ salary, etc.
I am extremely concerned and dismayed to learn about the 300 percent increase Members of Parliament are recommending they should receive.
As at 2017, every parliamentarian received Le 16 million as salary. There is the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which provided Le 62 million annually to every Member of Parliament. This gives an additional Le 5, 167, 000 monthly; so at the end of the day, your monthly take-home is Le 21, 167, 000. And, as you know, here’s how you come about the Le 5, 167, 000 I just mentioned: Le 62 million CDF annually divided by 12 calendar months.
Now, almost on a daily basis, the President, Julius Maada Bio and his entire administration, complain about budget deficit and a run-down economy. So can you kindly inform me, where you expect this 300 percent rise to come from?
You go cap-in-hand across the world due to the pitiable state of the country’s economy, and at the same time, expect tax payers and the state, to foot your bills for what one of your colleagues pertinently illustrated on radio this morning: Honourable Mohamed Bangura from Constituency 066 in the Karene District on November 2, 2018, described on Radio Democracy that part of the increase you are demanding would be used by you to contribute to constituents’: “pul na do, mared, kraj bɛrin …” By this, Honourable Bangura made it clear that you would utilise some of the money to make donations to babies’ naming ceremonies, weddings, funerals, … in your various constituencies.
Why don’t you use your personal money for it rather than demand tax payers and the state pay for it? This is going too low: it falls short of any of your three main functions, namely: representing the electorate, making laws, and overseeing the government through hearings and inquiries.
Besides, your constituents are waiting on you to facilitate a process, whereby their current earnings will enable them – as it does not do so now – access the basics in life. Instead of negotiating terms for an improved life for them, you decided to put yourselves first. I want to believe that was not why your constituents elected you. How then can they afford the things you promised on your election campaign?
On this note, I am herewith recommending to the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone to set up an independent body similar to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. Based at Westminster, it standardizes MPs’ salaries, expenses, sets rules that support compliance, amongst other things.
Claudia Anthony (citizen and resident of the Republic of Sierra Leone)
Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh
Professor David J. Francis