Saturday, October 24, 2020

Mogae rewards MPs’ “good behaviour” with a Salaries Commission

President Festus Mogae has appointed a High Court Judge, Justice Dibotelo, to head a Salaries Commission that will look at the conditions of service of the President, the Vice President, the Speaker, Ministers, all Members of Parliament, Members of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi and Councilors.
The Salaries Commission for politicians is part of a trade off between President Festus Mogae and Members of Parliament from his ruling party.
The two sides are beginning to make amends after a long spell of a tumultuous relationship.

According to information from the Office of the President, the terms of reference include reviewing the existing pay scales of the aforementioned and making appropriate recommendations to reflect the level of responsibility and accountability for each of the categories.

The Commission will also review the existing conditions of service and other entitlements, including allowances and terminal benefits for each of the categories with a view to making appropriate recommendations.

Although the names of other commissioners have mot been released, The Sunday Standard can confirm that former Permanent Secretaries Ben Makobole and Ken Matambo have been approached.

Mogae agreed to appoint the commission after cabinet had summarily arm-twisted the MPs into passing the Judges Pension Bill with lesser amendments than they had wanted.

The MPs had rejected the Bill in the previous sitting of parliament.

MPs declined to pass the Judges Pensions Bill, with some of them saying, as was drafted then, it amounted to looting of state funds, as it gave the judges too many privileges.

Although the terms of reference are still to be made public, Sunday Standard can confirm that Vice President Ian Khama and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Daniel Kwelagobe, have indicated to the all party caucus that the Salaries Commission will start its job on September 10.

One opposition MP who was present when the announcement of a Commission was announced this week told the Sunday Standard that many of the MPs were so thrilled and excited by the announcement that they started to behave like primary school boys.

“Kwelagobe made it clear that the President will now appoint the Salaries Commission because the Judges Pension Bill has been passed,” said one MP, who said he was disappointed that his colleagues were giving the impression that they could be bought out.

The Commission was stopped in its tracks after President Mogae accused MPs of blackmail.

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