Wednesday, June 02, 2010
By Ernest Chanda
Tue 01 June 2010, 03:50 CAT
KATUBA MMD member of parliament Jonas Shakafuswa has said Vice-President George Kunda's proposed new allowances for Lusaka-based delegates at the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) just shows how low the leadership in the country has become.
He said late president Levy Mwanawasa had opposed the allowances when Vice-President Kunda first proposed them in 2007.
"To me that arrangement is a very cheap arrangement because in the first instance, we were paid and were made to pay back I remember, because we heard that the late president Levy Mwanawasa refused that a minister who is coming from a government house, using government transport should be given money for upkeep.
This money which delegates are getting here it's meant for them to find accommodation, it's meant for them to find food, it's meant for them to find transport and it's meant for them to find utilities like groceries and other things," Shakafuswa explained on Friday.
"Now for there to be a duplication for a minister who is coming from a government payroll, it's wrong. For us members of parliament when NCC is in session, we don't get money from Parliament. We just get one payment and choose which payment is higher, that's the one we should get. So we don't get double payment because we are getting from the same coffer."
He said it was surprising that such a proposal could come from someone worth a minister or Vice-President.
"So since the money is coming from the same pocket and Parliament is giving us for accommodation, NCC is giving for accommodation, Parliament... like we were on a committee when NCC was sitting they refused to pay us from Parliament because they said you've got the money for upkeep from NCC.
Now how can a minister, someone calling themselves minister and to make matters worse the Vice-President lead such a suggestion to Cabinet? It just shows how low we have gone as leaders, how low we are stooping as leaders; which is very, very wrong." Said Shakafuswa.
When asked whether the action was a betrayal of the late president Levy Mwanawasa who had opposed it in the first instance, Shakafuswa said President Banda would be judged by his own style of leadership.