National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Executive Director, Ollen Mwalubunju, has questioned why Malawian parliamentarians are being given a full-time salary when they work as part-timers.
Mwalunju made the comment in his weekly newspaper column, ‘Democracy Forum’, published by The Nation newspaper .
In his entry for this week which he titled “MPs must be paid for their correct job description” Mwalubunju was commenting the debate on whether MPs deserve pay rise when the country is facing financial difficulties.
“Fairness in the remuneration of MPs must also be looked at in terms of the actual work that our MPs do in comparison to other public service workers. A nurse, for example, works for five days a week and at least 8 hours a day. How does that compare to our MPs?” Mwalubunju wrote.
He added: “It appears that our esteemed representatives are paid a salary for “a full time job” when they are not at work the same amount of time as an average worker.”
The NICE boss said because Malawian MPs do not work full time, it is possible for them to have second jobs or do consultancies earning even more income, a privilege other public service workers do not have.
“As Malawians we must decide, whether to have our MPs as part-timers (with no or minimal pay) or as full time employees remunerated properly, he said.
According to him, if MPs are going to be regarded as full-timers, they must work for us on a full-time basis, and not be allowed to divide their time between parliamentary work and other jobs.
“Otherwise, doing other jobs, and earning extra income while being paid a full time job salary is tantamount to moonlighting,” he added.
Mwalubunju said he is of the view that MPs must not be the ones deciding whether their own pay should be increased.
“What we need is a body independent of parliament to look into the work that our MPs do and accordingly determine how that work should be translated into pay.
“ For reasons of fairness, the same body should perhaps do similar work complete with recommendations for all other public servants,” Mwalubunju suggested.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :