November 6, 2018
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) has expressed grave concern over a motion by members of parliament for a rise in their salaries and other benefits.
According to Chief Executive Abdul M. Fatoma, the group is of the view that such demands by lawmakers lack consideration for the public interest and it is not justfiable under the current ecenomic status of the country.
“We believe the decision represents a backward step in the desire to effect adherence to the rule of law and fundamental rights of Sierra Leoneans across the country,” he said.
For the past two weeks parliamentarians from all political parties represented in the House have been agitating for an increment in their salaries and other benefits, including sitting fees, wardrobe and fuel allowances, among others.
A motion rasied by Hon. Lahai Marah of the All People’s Congress (APC) and Hon. Ibrahim Tawa Conteh of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) was unanimously approved last Thursday, 1st November.
However, the move has come under severe criticisms from members of the public and right-based organisations who view it as untimely at this material time.
Mr. Fatoma noted that the controversial move was in total disregard of the will of majority Sierra Leoneans to build a better economy after a decade of blunder by politicians.
He urged the government and the people not to allow lawmakers to have a field day with motion for a huge increase in their salaries and other benefits, inclding wardrobe allowance.
“We note with considerable alarm this very unfair behaviour by our Members of Parliament. Therefore, we are calling on parliamentarians to withdraw their motion with immediate effect in the public interest,” Fatoma urged, while reiterating their stance against wasteful ecenomic practices, going forward.
According to the CHRDI Chief, the general public trust in political institutions, including parliament, has been undermined in recent decades by prominent scandals, allegations of corruption and other breaches of acceptable behaviour by elected officials.