THE OBSERVER: Khama was right – Our MPs are vultures!

SHARE   |   Friday, 15 April 2016   |   By Simon Gabathuse
THE OBSERVER: Khama was right – Our MPs are vultures!

Maybe our Members of Parliament are vultures after all. If the only thing we remember about them to this day is that they have been consistent in advocating for their salaries to be increased and be provided with vehicles, then whoever referred to them as vultures should have been right!  The title and tone might have been harsh at the time. But it is now coming to be fitting and relevant. The MPs have done the unthinkable at a time when they should be putting the needs of the people first – they have put their needs first. Even those who we had forgot their voices, having last heard their voices when they literally begged us for a vote, have come back to be very loud when putting their economic needs before that of a country.

We all know those who have not been fortunate when the gift of reasoning and debate was awarded during the human creation period. But we surprisingly witness them finding in them a new talent to reason when talking of how and why their salaries should be increased. They have deliberately forgotten in the blink of an eye that there is still an Ipelegeng Worker who gets lower than the Government minimum wage. They have forgotten that monies are needed to pay the teachers so that they can teach. They have conveniently forgotten that our roads, clinics schools etc. are all in dilapidated conditions. The vultures have forgotten that the workers are still doing their best to negotiate an increase of their meagre salaries. They are only worried about themselves, a classic animal farm case of milk and apples being for the leaders.

The MPs want to snatch the wallet before the ordinary people – the mere workers – could reach it. They want to fill their big bellies before children could be bought school books. They want to build their mansions before the poor can be sheltered. They want to pay for hefty private schools before the poor could be afforded the most basic of education. They want to buy more luxuries cars before the poor could afford the most basic of public transport. The vultures want to improve their households before the poor, the ordinary village folk in the deep rural centres could be provided with running water and electricity.  The MPs have simply lost it! They are out of their minds. This is just way too much to be contemplated – it is disheartening to say the least. It is a classical animal farm case of all animals being equal yet at the same time some animals being more equal than others.

There are a lot of issues that need to be dealt with by our Parliament. It should be leading the nation in resolving the tattered education crisis to prepare this nation to move into a better future, a literate future. Right now none of them MPs is saying anything about the recent education crisis; they have forgotten that it has just happened. They have moved on to look for their comforts zones. They have made Parliament their economic zones. It is thuggery to abandon your core duty and concentrate on issues of personal importance. The MPs have stopped being representatives of the people to be their own representatives.

Only one MP remembered that a nation has bestowed in him a title “HONOURABLE” and behaved honourably. Ndaba Gaolathe is the only MP who went out and lashed against a satanic call for MPs to get their salaries increased. He must be thanked for this. And I do thank you Honourable Ndaba Gaolathe for standing out against injustices geared towards the poor. Thank you for fulfilling your election promises that you will stand out for the ordinary Motswana. The ordinary poor Motswana needs more people like you. The middle class society must also see in you a saviour at a time when any increase that is not for their salaries is actually more taxing from their part. The timing is utterly wrong. The moment is insane. The MPs should know best that this is not correct.

The unemployment of the young people is growing at an alarming rate yet the MPs somehow are unable to see it. None of them, not even one has been loud enough to provide solutions to the plight of young people walking the streets with qualifications crying out loud for jobs. But the MPs have been loud enough to demand that their salaries be increased. They have less than two years in National Assembly and they have already shouted twice that they want a salary increase. Having recently got an increase, they want another one right-out. Maybe these are not the same men and women we voted into national representation. The ones we voted knew how to take care of the needs of a nation before their own. That is what they said when they campaigned. That is the promise they made. The youth must observe closely those who have forgotten them after promising to be their voice. It is called utter betrayal. The MPs have backtracked on their promises. With 2019 just around the corner, media shall be the platform to remind the voter of who the vultures are. We are observing the vultures with embarrassment and shock. 

We must all remember that by increasing their salaries, the MPs will also be increasing their allowances. They are actually paid sitting allowances on top of their hefty salaries.  They will also technically be increasing their gratuities, which will still come from taxing the poor. They will also be increasing whatever benefits entitled to them at the end of their service, and this is also from taxing the poor. They are simply saying they need the already heavily taxed poor Motswana to be taxed more so that they can as MPs be economic Kings and Queens. It is thuggery.

All political parties have an obligation to call their MPs to order. Only the leader of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) has spoken against this devilish intent. We need to hear if the silence of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), the Botswana National Front (BNF), the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and the collective Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) are an indication that they agree with this devilish intent. The BDP must say something as a political party. President Khama must say it out again as the President of the BDP to the BDP Members of Parliament that they are vultures. By not reprimanding this pathetic intent, the political parties will be equally guilty of the offence. As they say with the Panama issue “it might not be illegal, but it is not right”.
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