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Opinions of Saturday, 20 August 2011

Columnist: Asare, Kofi Sabone

Open Letter to Speaker of Parliament

OPEN LETTER TO SPEAKER OF PARLIAMENT.*

* *

Please, Madam Speaker of the August Parliament of Ghana, I wish to bring the following to your attention.

About three months ago, I heard the Hon. Majority whip on Radio Gold justifying a monthly salary of seven thousand Ghana Cedis (GHC 7,000) which in the old currency amount to seventy million (C70,000,000). About two weeks later, both the Hon. Majority and Minority whips appeared on GTV, “In the House” programme to justify the same claims. According to them, they were comparing their earnings with that of the Executives – The President, the Vice President, the Ministers and other state officials. In that discussion both whips were so nice to each other, complement each other’s efforts in justifying their monthly salary of seven thousand Ghana Cedis.

In my considered view, your august house is only competing with the executive to better their comfort of living. Your august house is considered as the representative of the citizenry of this country. Therefore, it is the primary responsibility of the House to defend people against oppression, cheating, stealing, looting and any of their fundamental human rights. In this case, if the House found out that the Executives are looting the state coffers through high payment of monthly salaries, imposition of extreme comforts and benefits to the detriment of the vast majority of citizens, it is their responsibility to expose them and bring the situation to normalcy. But to my chagrin, the House rather opted to join in the sharing of the booty. The house has compromised its position to defend the people of this country.

Madam Speaker, I wish to pose the following questions.

1. Looking at the general negotiated daily wage pertaining in this country, is your House justified in demanding seven thousand Ghana Cedis monthly salary?

2. Looking at the general salary structure pertaining within the civil service, public service and other state institutions, is your House justified in its demand?

3. Taking the amount involved into consideration, are you not living in extreme comfort at the expense of the citizenry?

4. On daily basis, we are being exhorted to work hard and sacrifice to build the economy of this country. What is your House sacrifice and contributions to building the economy of the nation?

5. How much salary have your House advocated for the farmer who works daily under the scorching sun to feed your house and others, and the nation at large but still remains poor, miserable and vulnerable?

6. How much salaries have your House advocated for the the teacher who trains the human resources base of this nation?

7. How much salaries have your House advocated for the security personnel that guard your premises during day and night to enable you enjoy your extreme comfort?

8. To what extent does your House care for Assemby men and women who sacrifice their comfort at the grass root level of democracy you uphold and cherish?

9. Do you know how much the average teacher earns for gratuity after over thirty years of service?

I have a lot of questions to pose, but will pause for the mean time.

Madam Speaker, Please as a citizen of this country and who has a representative in your House, I humbly demand answers for the above questions.

Thank you.

*Kofi Sabone Asare,* *Peki, Volta Region*