Sunday, December 01, 2013

Milupi urges Sata to forgo salary increase
By Allan Mulenga
Sun 20 Oct. 2013, 14:01 CAT

CHARLES Milupi says President Michael Sata should show leadership by refusing to accept the 10 per cent salary increase awarded to him and other constitutional office holders.

In an interview yesterday, Milupi, leader of Alliance for Democracy and Development, said President Sata should "search his soul" and reject the increment just like former president Rupiah Banda did.

"That's how the 2008 increase did not go through. (President Sata) has spent his time castigating Banda about corruption, about selfishness. On this particular issue, let him follow the example of former president Banda by refusing to accept that," Milupi said.

Milupi said it was not morally right for President Sata to accept the newly-revised salary increase for him and other constitutional office holders.

Milupi accused President Sata of playing double standards by accepting a 10 per cent salary increment.

"You can't change in life like a chameleon; whenever it suits you then you change. I say this because I was in Parliament in 2008, immediately after the death of former president Mwanawasa, when a motion came on the remuneration of the constitutional office bearers, including the President. He stood on a hill to condemn that totally, even though Parliament had approved it. He made so much noise, remember that is when he was saying, 'Mwanawasa rejected this, now Banda is approving this'," he explained.

"Because of that, president Banda refused to assent to that. And for him to say, 'it is not me, it is Parliament', the President has authority on all the laws in Parliament. No law will be enacted in Parliament unless it is assented to by the President. That is the constitutionalism that we operate."

Milupi wondered why President Sata had been calling on opposition members of parliament to lead the way by foregoing the 10 per cent salary increase.

"For him to come up with a statement that 'I will also forego my pay if the opposition MPs forego their increase or refuse to accept the increase', that is the most ridiculous statement that has ever come from a head of state. The head of state is not driven by members of the opposition. He should show leadership himself. Even if the opposition say they will go ahead, because they can only go ahead receiving if the President assents to it, but if he refuses to sign, nobody will get an increase," he said.

Milupi said leaders join politics to serve and not to earn riches.

"No president compares himself to chief executives of organisations anywhere in the world. President Obama is not the highest paid official in America. You are in politics to serve, you don't need to go there to make money," said Milupi.

On Friday, home affairs Edgar Lungu indicated that President Sata was ready to forego the 10 per cent salary increase awarded to him.

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