Mfenesini Member of Parliament Nassir Suleiman Omar (CCM) yesterday asked the government to enact a new law to enable legislators to receive pensions, instead of gratuity at the end of their terms of service.
Omar said that Union Parliament MPs face difficulties after completing their tenures while members of the House of Representatives in Zanzibar received a pension of 1m/- per month. He noted that even in neighboring Kenya, MPs get a pension of USD 1,000.
The lawmaker also had wanted to know if there was any government plan to increase the amount of gratuity paid to MPs.
Responding, State Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office (Policy, Coordination and Parliamentary Affairs) William Lukuvi said that currently it was impossible to pay the lawmakers pension because the payment were done according to the law.
“According to conditions of the MP duties, legislators are entitled to gratuity and the payments are being made according to the law,” stressed Lukuvi.
He explained that pension was being paid to public servants who are permanently employment and pensionable, unlike the lawmakers.
Regarding MPs’ salaries, he said they were being increased in line with other public servants, adding that since the calculation of gratuity is based on salary increment, it was obvious that it will also increase.
Special seat MP Pauline Gekul (Chadema) asked the government when it will provide funds to special seat MPs to help them contribute to development projects in the regions they represent. She said a similar policy was being implemented in neighbouring Uganda.
Responding, Lukuvi said the request could be discussed, but apparently the law didn’t provide for that.