Mulongoti defends councillors over Salaries

Fri, 30 Dec 2016 09:53:00 +0000

 

By SANDRA MACHIMA

COMPLAINTS by ward councillors across the country over their meagre allowances is justified and therefore, deserved a better package, former Chingola mayor Macdonald Mulongoti has charged.

Mr Mulongoti said as much as the councillors were part time workers, it was important that their allowances adjusted.

“I am alive to the fact that these civic leaders function on a part time basis but their role is equally important because they deal with the people at the grassroots who usually present various daunting challenges which require financial or logistical solutions beyond their means such as transport in cases of illnesses, funeral expenses and related issues inter alia,” he said.

Mr Mulongoti said the President, Members of Parliament, mayors or council chairpersons and councillors were all elected at the same time but that there was an outrageous discrepancy in terms of allowances or emoluments which obtain currently among councillors and the rest.

“For example, MPs  are reportedly receiving about K1,500 sitting allowance per day, councillors get extremely lower rates of less than K250 and K400 sitting allowance and a paltry K700 monthly allowance depending on the category or status of the council whether district, municipal or city.  Conversely, however, MPs additionally get paid heft monthly salaries and gratuity at the end of their term,” he said.

Mr Mulongoti said there was literary no equality or even equity in payment terms.

He said MPs were to blame because they fully understand the critical role councillors played in their wards, yet they underestimated their significance as a way to trample on them so that they do not pose stiff competition to them in future.

He suggested that the Local Government Minister intervened in pacifying the situation simply by issuing a Statutory Instrument in order to better the working conditions of the civic leaders as a way of building capacity and motivating them.

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