- Parliament to set up commission for MPs’ welfare
- MPs currently earn P40 000 per month, ministers P60 000
Members of Parliament are set for yet another salary increment in this new financial year that began on 1 April, with a commision due to be appointed this week for the purpose, The Botswana Gazette has established.
The Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng, is expected to present a government bill that seeks to appoint a commission to review the remuneration of MPs, councillors, magosi (Members of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi) and specified offices before the current sitting of Parliament ends.
Although details around the matter are sketchy, sources say the increment is due after an undertaking was made to MPs before declaration of the first State of Public Emergence (SoPE) in March last year. At the time, the proposed increment had to be halted because resources had to be channeled into fighting the new coronavirus pandemic.
Reports have previously stated that MPs were due for a 10 percent salary increase after the legislators, mostly backbenchers and the parliamentary opposition, complained that it was costly for them to travel between Gaborone and their constituencies, noting that their use of government vehicles was limited.
Minister Morwaeng could not be reached by the time of going to press. Information relayed to this publication shows that the President’s current salary ranks at P1, 075, 056 per annul. The Vice President, at the rate of P943, 032 per annul while a Minister earn P724, 992 per annul. The Speaker rates P724, 992 per annul his deputy P557, 880. The Leader of the Opposition earns P557, 880 per annul, Government Whip pockets P489, 396 per annul while Opposition Whip P479, 808 per annul. Any other Member earns P470, 364 per annul. These salaries exclude allowances. Salaries of Members of the National Assembly were increased in April 2019 by the 11th Parliament.
Furthermore, MPs are entitled to a reported P11 000 per month housing allowances. Reports have also indicated that MPs want their housing allowances increased to P22 000 a month, which government is said to have rejected. Some MPs have also expressed their displeasure over the state of MPs’ hostels. They say most have decided to look for accommodation elsewhere. MPs’ hostels were recently undergoing renovations, which forced government to lodge MPs at Avani Hotel in Gaborone for more than P5 million.