A day after Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki blocked Parliament bonus to his lawmakers, politicians and activists in the country have said the move is a challenge to the Tanzanian government especially in making salaries of top government leaders known to the public.
Kigoma South MP David Kafulila (NCCR-Mageuzi) said Tanzanians should not only learn from Kenya by not only increasing the salaries and allowances but also that salaries of civil servants including that of the President and Prime Minister should be known to the public.
The outspoken legislator said the public is the chief employer of the civil servants and that it was the right of the people to know how much was being paid to civil servants.
Kafulila said the government should work out how to make public servants pay open to public scrutiny.
“The strategy has worked in Kenya because people are aware of what the civil servants are being paid including their President, Prime Minister, MPs … the Tanzanian government should also implement the strategy,” Kafulila said.
He commended the Kenyan President and noted that the government has to ensure that salary adjustment reflect financial and economic developments.
Communications, Science and Technology Deputy Minister January Makamba backed the unveiling of public servants wages pointing out that according to the country’s laws salary is a confidential pact between employer and employee and that since wananchi are the principal employer of public servants they have the right to know their wages.
He advised that salary schemes should not take a big part of the government revenue, saying these should be channeled to development programmes.
“It isn’t good to hear three quarters of the collected revenue being tabled as salary for public servants...for a country like Tanzania whose priorities are health, agriculture, infrastructure or education development,” he said.
As a democratic country, Tanzania has to ensure that the community is aware of how much the President or the local village executive officer were being paid…,” said Islael Ilunde, policy forum steering committee member.
A Dar es Salaam resident Kassim Mohamed said: “Salary increments should justify the existing situation.”
They however warned that the government should not give attention to a single group (especially lawmakers) that protest for its salary or allowance increment, forgetting other important groups that need a salary relief.
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday blocked 110,000 USD end of term bonuses members of parliament awarded themselves after protest and public outcry at a time when the state has raised taxes to plug a hole in its finances.
The lawmakers voted to triple the bonus they will all receive when their five year term ends in January to 9.3 million Kenyan shillings (109,500 UDS,)