It is astounding how members of Parliament (MPs) do not fail to rally together when it comes to issues involving fattening their pockets even further. Without qualms, last week they decided that they would go against the job which we Malawians put them into that imposing House, to pass laws, but bring deliberations to a standstill because they cannot see the budget line for their loans in General Purpose Fund (GPF).
It is amazing how these selfish individuals can spend every Malawian’s hard earned taxes on a day they should have been debating the K1.1 trillion 2016/17 National Budget to make demands when Goodall Gondwe is spending sleepless nights wondering how he will reduce the budget deficit.
By the way, this is not money to help their constituents, it is not money they need to supplement funding from the district councils for constituency developments like building bridges or purchasing the much needed beds in the health centre maternity wing. But money for them as individuals, albeit a loan, which the government in its wisdom promised to give them every three years.
Such a demand is an insult to the hundreds of health workers and teachers the government failed to employ last year due to lack of funds. It is an insult to the university graduates that your taxes put through four years of school that this government cannot employ just yet because of a civil service hire freeze. These so-called honourables have the audacity to demand more from you and at a time when everyone is tightening their belts bracing for a financial year whose budget has no chance of being balanced by June 30 2017.
The demand is a big insult to civil servants who toil to keep the government engine running but they have accepted a mere average 15 percent salary increase at a time when inflation is hitting the high 20s and prices of goods and services are skyrocketing, hence, putting the government purse at the risk of another Cashgate.
These are supposedly honourable men and women who on entering office were advanced with about K24 million to buy vehicles on top of the K3 million general purpose loan for who knows what.
It is even more insulting that such a demand, issued to hold the one arm of government at ransom is coming at a time when the honourables have finished scrutinising the much revised budget and delving into the current budget whose allocations are clearly inadequate.
Malawians should not be fooled for once that when one or two MPs are vocal on this issue then the others have no interest in the money. On the contrary, the vocal ones are foot soldiers for the rest. These are suicide bombers sacrificing themselves for the benefit of all. When it comes to lining their own pockets by demanding huge salary increases, even the Speaker will be interested.
The honourables must not insult our intelligence by claiming that they deserve this loan because it is contained in their conditions of service.
Primary school teachers deserve to be employed to teach children in their constituencies, nurses and clinicians deserve to be put on the government payroll to begin work at that health centre which has remained unopened due to lack of staff, the new graduates from Bunda deserve to be employed to assist this government meet its ambitious irrigation programmes and certainly Malawians who have not harvested a single grain deserve to sleep on a full stomach.
These honourables do not deserve the K3 million because it will not benefit the majority of the constituents who put them in office to pass the budget so that money allocated for the purchase of food and medicines can start flowing.