We have heard, haven’t we, that the State President and the Vice-President will not be collecting their full salary because of the state of the economy. The economy is bad, sick and moribund. As such, even though there was justification to raise the salary, the president and his number two will not be cashing home the approved salary. They will stick to the old one.
I have always feared (on the basis of principle) that this country should never accept any president to decide that they would not be accepting a pay raise. My reasoning is this. The president’s pay should be decided by other people. So when these people have done what is reasonable and weighed all options, do we want one person to come in and nullify all the investment in thinking and calculations that many people came up with? The committee may have decided to raise the president’s salary because not doing so would mean the president would be so poorly paid that she/he may be making senseless trip just to collect hefty allowances as compensation. It is possible that the president need to be insulated from corruption by having a better salary. Now when she/he has refused the pay rise, what if she/he is now no longer insulated from crime? What else will the president overrule if she/he is allowed to overrule the “salaries committee”? She/he then may believe they can overrule this committee and that committee and then next committee and the list is endless. Simply stated, I do not agree to our underpaying the presidents. Let us pay them two to three times what they are being paid now. Let us pay them well and then follow up their assets as they sit in the president’s office. Pay someone peanuts and what you get are monkeys. People steal and do all sorts of things to make money. Our presidents should not be in their offices scheming where they will get extra Kwachas because we did not pay them well. We can underpay them and a single out of town trip to earn extra allowances takes a cool K10 million off the table. Who has won and who has lost? You tell me.
Several months ago, I was at a meeting. People were discussing money. If money is scarce, it becomes an important subject for discussion. Or, let me rephrase and say that for some people, their attitude towards money is such that everything they want to talk about must revolve around it. So there was person A and Person B. Person A was getting which person B was not getting. I was mortified when Person B argued that Person A should not get any raise. And what was the reason? If I am not getting any raise then person A should not get a raise either. I nearly wished I died. Childish thinking at its worst! Just fight for your raise rather than fighting for a deduction on someone’s salary.