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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

MPs: Improve police, councillors` packages

25th June 2011

Lawmakers yesterday urged the government to improve the emoluments of police officers and ward councillors.

They were debating budget estimates of the Prime Minister’s Office tabled in the National Assembly on Thursday.

Ludewa legislator Deo Filikunjombe (CCM) said the government should concentrate on solving the problems which police officers and ward councillors are facing. He said the two groups have been experiencing a lot of problems, adding that, with political will, it was possible to resolve them.

Mbozi West MP Godfrey Zambi (CCM) said the government should now think of paying salaries to ward councilors instead of the current monthly allowance of 120,000/-, adding that the government had the resources to pay them.

Zambi also said village chairpersons were providing free services to the people while it was possible for them to be paid a 60,000/- monthly allowance.

“We can pay village chairmen….giving them 60,000/- per month will cost the government only 8bn/- per year,” he said.

In his contribution, Chakwa legislator Yahya Kassim Issa (CCM) said the union government had contributed to delaying Zanzibar's development. He said there were people who opposed Zanzibar being recognised as a country.

“There are some people who are not happy with Zanzibar being identified as a country,” he said, adding that Zanzibar could have made great strides in developments, if the problems of the Union had been addressed.

Issa said that Zanzibaris were not happy with revenue collections from natural gas being channelled only to the Union Treasury.

He said Tanzania mainland should stop taking Isles' revenue because Zanzibar was a country with its own administration.

He also called for the reduction of the list of Union Matters, saying the 22 listed were too many for Zanzibar, stalling its development.

Meanwhile, Tanzania Labour Party (TLP) national chairman and Vunjo lawmaker Augustino Mrema has requested the government to pay him arrears and other retirement benefits for serving as deputy prime minister and Home Affairs minister in the second phase administration.

Mrema said this yesterday when contributing to the budget estimates of the Prime Minister’s Office tabled in parliament on Thursday.

He said the government was yet to pay him the benefits despite having been a public servant.

He said the government has been paying other retired public servants and officers, but was yet to do so for him, though he served the government for so many years. He said if the government failed to give him the whole amount it should at least pay him at least 20 per cent of it.

“I have been waiting for so long for the golden handshake from the government to no avail. If it is possible, please give me at least 20 per cent of it and forget about the remaining 80 per cent,” he said.

Mrema, who is also chairman of the parliamentary Local Authorities Accounts Committee, said his position was established by a presidential decree which established all the ministries, so it was there legally.

He said the position was not sanctioned by the constitution.

He called on politicians to maintain the current peace and stop staging demonstrations unnecessarily.

He said some of the countries whose people have been demonstrating frequently ended up in chaos.

Former prime minister Edward Lowassa advised the government to scale down the Prime Minister’s Office to increase efficiency.

He said placing the ministry of Regional Administration and Local Governments, disaster and economic empowerment departments under the PMO made it inefficient and fuelled bureaucracy.

He cited an example where it took him three months to follow up on a water project for Monduli constituency.

He said the RALG ministry should be left alone to implement its responsibilities without interferences.

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