“Look, former cabinet ministers and MPs die like chickens once they leave office. They are used and dumped. Late John Zingale had to put up advertisements in newspapers soliciting support to pay hospital bills yet he had been MP for five years,” Moses Dossi.
Former cabinet minister and legislator Moses Dossi is reportedly in a crusade to convince government to start paying pension for retired political office holders.
Towards this futile quest, he has penned the President, Speaker of the National Assembly Richard Msowoya, leader of opposition Lazarus Chakwera, cabinet ministers and all members of parliament (MPs)lobbying them to consider his “brilliant” proposal.
While this proposal comes at a particularly bad time due to the prevailing economic turmoil we are all experiencing, it is a proposal that should never ever resurface again; at least from anyone in control of all their faculties.
First, as has been argued,legislators and cabinet ministers enjoy lucrative contracts with higher than normal monthly earnings, handsome allowances, attractive medical scheme and other mouth-watering benefits.
Out of all this, they are supposed to save something for the rainy day. In the least, if they were indeed wise and fit for leadership in the first place, they would.
Now to ask the already overburdened tax-payer to pay them: first these bloated allowances which they mostly squander like the biblical prodigal son, then their pension because they failed to save something for the rainy day, is not only an insult to the taxpayer BUT goes against everything we expect of wise leaders – who should, as a minimum, lead by example by demonstrating a culture of saving.
Let us start here. The thrust of Dossi’s argument is that the moneys that cabinet ministers and MPs make while in office are used for political campaigns and helping constituents who demand coffins and vehicles to ferry the sick.
Two things come out clearly from his self-defeating argument.
First, he is admitting that the bloated perks that politicians get, leave everybody else so poor that they cannot afford coffins when they die. Again, that while Cabinet ministers are allocated vehicles and fuel allowances, the taxpayers –who are their bosses – cannot even access ambulance services, when sick.
I would have expected Dossi to have been on a crusade to redress this sad state of affairs, and not bring this ludicrous idea he is championing under the guise of “doing it for others”.
Secondly, with respect to the impact that these politicians (and their dubious decisions and “bad laws”) have on the masses; by Dossi’s own admission, all they have managed to do this far is to create and deepen dependency via handouts.
Thirdly, Dossi seems to imply that when a person serves as a politician, the general public and generations to come, owe them a favour.I find this preposterous because the truth is the other way around.
The current crop of politicians and their predecessors, are the ones who owe us – Malawians of this generation, and Malawians of generations to come.
Why and how?Because as we speak, we are up to our necks servicing loans (debts) for development that is neither visible nor tangible.
Future generations will service loans (debts) for money that was wasted via cash-gate, propping up cronies,paying for voyages of bloated delegations, a whole lot of imprudent “entitlements” and what have you.
Now, who owes who?
Up to this point, mind you, I am giving Hon Moses Dossi the benefit of doubt with respect to his sanity.
With the next bit, he has succeeded in removing all my doubts.
“We are talking of a person who just days, weeks or months ago was chauffer driven. They can’t just snatch away our diplomatic passports as if we are thieves. We need to be respected. We once made crucial decisions for the nation,” said Dossi.
Come on Moses! Did your father not tell you that what goes up must come down? Have you not heard the admonition to “be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down?”
In the vernacular, don’t we say “kuno ndi kunja kumayanja lichero?”
The fact that a person was once chauffeur-driven, does not entitle them to a life-time of being spoilt. Life does not work like that. You can go up, you can come down, and vice versa.
To conclude, let me convey free advice to the current crop of politicians.Folks in Cabinet and at Parliament, ifyou do not make hay while the sun is shining, by among other things:
- Buying policies at NICO and/or Old Mutual;
- Making sustainable investments to see you through when you “retire”(should read lose the next election);
- Investing in your children so that come old age,you have someone to turn to, and
- Know when to quit so as NOT to spend your last tambala on the last futile campaign in which you will lose;
please spare us.Do not rub salt on the tax-payers’ wounds by demanding “pension”. And while you are at it, don’t even think about it!
And more importantly if politicians do not ensure that Malawi becomes a better place when in office, when they are out of office,they will face the music.They will return to reality andre-join the broke majority.
Naturally, what follows is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth;as they feel the pain that the masses are going through.
Thisdosage of the cruel reality, though belated, is important because it makes aspiring and current politicians realize why making Malawi a better place should be their priority or priorities when in power.
With respect to Dossi’s assertion that Malawi can afford this extravagant venture because “Malawi is not poor but Malawians are”; this again, defeats his absurd proposal.
If Malawi is not poor but Malawians are poor, what did the “have-been” politicians walking about with begging bowls do to change this state of affairs? Indeed what are the current crop doing to reverse this unacceptable state of affairs?
What did the veteran politicians contribute in making Malawi a better place for all?And does that earn them a pension? Definitely not in my book.
I rest my case.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :