DAR ES SALAAM, Sunday
THE revelation that Tanzanian Member of Parliament (MPs) voted themselves a US$98,000 (£60,000) package each to be paid at the end of their parliamentary term has led to shock.
The send-off money, a 274 per cent increase on the amount MPs received in 2010, was endorsed by the treasury at the end of last year, but only reported this week.
“The total sum is enough to build a hospital,” one resident told the BBC.
An opposition party leader said it showed a root-and-branch reform of government finances was needed.
James Mbatia said Tanzania had lost the values of its founding father and first leader Julius Nyerere.
“During the Nyerere era, [we] had an ideology as a nation – about how we value the dignity of a human being,”the MP and chairperson of the NCCR Maguezi told the BBC.
Economist Vincent Leyaro said the move would increase the burden to the taxpayers at a time the government was struggling to raise revenue and was mired in debt estimated at $25 billion.
The MPs’ move would also set a bad precedent, with other civil servants thinking that they should be entitled to more money from the government and ultimately the taxpayer, he said.-BBC