Explain awarding of councilors allowances through SI

The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has demanded that government should explicitly explain how it had signed a Statutory Instrument (SI) to award civic leader monthly allowances when the said allowance was part of the recommendations in the new draft constitution.

FODEP executive director MacDonald Chipenzi has said while his organisation heartily welcomed monthly allowance for councilors, it was concerned about its implementation when the constitution of which it was part of had not been enacted.

The FODEP chief told the Daily Nation that government was pre-empting the submissions of the people and recommendations of the Technical Committee drafting the new constitution by commencing the implementation of what had been proposed.

He said the expectations of the people were that Government should not attempt to begin making piecemeal implementation of the submissions in the new constitution because they wanted a thorough and comprehensive enactment of the constitution.

Chipenzi said allowances for councilors and the retirement age were part of the submissions in the draft constitution and that it was worrying that government had increased the retirement age and awarded the monthly allowance to the civic leaders without considering what had been proposed in the new constitution.

He wondered why government was in a hurry to begin implementing some of the submissions that were in the draft constitution when they could have waited until the constitution was enacted.

Chipenzi however said his organisation was happy that the councilors had finally been awarded the monthly allowance because the civic leaders were closer to the people than Members of Parliament.He said it was common knowledge that most of the MPs both in the ruling party and the opposition were merely visitors to their constituencies and that it was the councilors who were faced with the challenges of their communities.“Government should be commended however for realizing that councilors needed that allowance. It has been our fight for a long time that the civic leaders should be supported by the monthly allowance because they were the people who were suffering the burden of the numerous problems in communities. Most of the MPs are just visitors in their constituencies and we think it is proper to comment government,” Chipenzi said.