Are Sierra Leone Parliamentarians really ‘Servants of the People’?
Commentary by Ahmid C Jalloh
Executive Director, YARDO-SL.
Sierra Leone is one of the least developed countries in the world. Two-Thirds of its citizens live on a dollar a day or less. The per capita GNI is an estimated $406. Parliamentarians though, don’t seem to be aware of the country’s financial status.
If the proposed salaries and allowances are approved, the Speaker of Sierra Leone’s Parliament would have a take-home package of $300,000. That is more than Paul Ryan, Speaker of the US House of Representatives earns annually.
Government workers across the public sector have low wages. A registered nurse or senior nursing officer earns about $300, a medical doctor in government employment makes about $500 month. Mayors and District Chairpersons get monthly salaries between $250-$500. These are all workers who are on call 24 hours a day.
Members of Parliament currently earn $1500 a month as salary. They also get benefits and allowances. However, they say they deserve more. In addition to a demand that their salary is raised to $8570, they want $5000 for medical, $20,000 for housing, $13,000 for transportation, and $5000 for clothing.
What baffles me most is the deliberate and wicked attempt of these MPs pretending to serve the poor people of Salone when actually all the really cared about is how to steal from the poor people. Yes, it is stealing when you consider how the masses are deprived just to satisfy their selfish and egomaniac selves.
We are waiting on the first MP to stand with people and object to this ridiculous proposed pay rise. Do we have a Salone malema, a man that places his country above his self interest?
Deliberation on the financial repercussions of this bill is coming out soon. [Watch out]
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