Well padded: members in Africa


MPs in many African countries receive high salaries. The need to find their voters on the other hand, the unfair. Little transparency in diets increased the mistrust.

In Uganda, living costs are rising: this rationale is Ugandan parliamentarians have approved this year, a hefty allowance increase of almost 40 percent. In the process, they earned according to media reports, already before the increase of more than a hundred times as much as the average citizen in the country. Even politicians in other African countries routinely high salaries.

Members ‘ salaries for social security benefits

In Uganda, the recent decision of Parliament costs the taxpayer, according to media additional 15.2 million euros, reports in the current budget, which is on the $ 135 million raised. The MP Peter Ogwang belongs to the government party “National resistance movement” (NRM). Ogwang explained to local Newspapers, the monthly salaries would be controlled, along with the constant allowances to be devoured, because the political circles in order for investments in the choice and individual demands of the voters covered. “I expect the General Public that they are listening to us, if we are to justify our increases. The people are not to blame, if we are well paid.”

The Argument is often sought: African politicians paid their social benefits circles out of your own pocket. Each of the 459 Ugandan MPs earn but according to the newspaper “the East African” between 3500 and 7000 Euro / month, depending on the distance of their constituency from the government seat in the capital, Kampala. Cissy Kagaba is a lawyer and head of an independent Organisation, which is fighting in Uganda against corruption. “The increases are unfair,” she says Interview with DW. “The deputies and the Ministers are well paid, but the quality of the services is in your constituencies very badly.”

Lack Of Transparency

It is the voice that citizens turned to the deputies they have elected if they could not pay the school fees or medical transports were missing, confirmed Kagaba. “But you take this issue as a justification for increases, but your own life style says something else. There is no transparency, which will help politicians in the extent to which the citizens in Need.” The representatives of the people should live as a role model. Instead, they did not abuse their Offices, criticized Kagaba. “The cost of living and petrol prices as an Argument – that is cynical, because we all live in the same economic world and have the same challenges.”

How do the people in Uganda, such a mismatch? “You can’t do anything, because protests are not allowed,” says the young lawyer. But in social media there is a barrage of disgruntled Comments, also in the case of radio broadcasts, many of the voters to call and complain about the salary policy of the Parliament, says Kagaba. There is a lack of political will to change that, she says.

Little Movement

Attempts to reduce the diets, remain the exception. A good example a few years ago, the members of Burkina went Faso forward. The majority of you voted in Parliament to halve your former monthly salary of around 2500 euros. Also, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta announced after his re-election in 2017, a reduction in parliamentary allowances by 15 per cent, should also apply to his own salary. However, the Initiative fell to the Farce: The parliamentarians went on the warpath, finally, everything remained the same.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta: His Reform is bogged down

In the African standards, Kenya’s parliamentarians belong to the earners so that continues to be one of the Best – in addition to the colleagues from South Africa, after Nigeria, which according to Figures from the world Bank on the front.

The Parliament – a self-service shop?

Anyway, such savings efforts, Africa expert, Heinrich Bergstr are not able to impress eaters at all. “The cuts say nothing about the actual income, the parliamentarians, and what do you do for your population. As you come quickly to the limit, and notes that it is loading the parliaments more of a self-service or Abnick-Association for the state of leadership is,” says the Nigeria-expert and Journalist in the DW-Interview. “It doesn’t matter about which country in Africa we are talking about – not to mention Nigeria.”

The country will stand for years at the top of the policy income. Bergstresser, compared to the salaries of the parliamentarians, the Per capita income in the countries and comes to the conclusion: “The relations have blown up the framework.” The oil-rich Nigeria had a Per capita income of around 4500 Euro – parliamentarians deserved but almost half a Million euros per year – so about one hundred times from the normal citizens. According to the world Bank, the deputies ‘ salaries in Nigeria and the Central African Republic, even more than 120 times higher than the average income. The situation is similar in Uganda.

Also read: world Bank expert: “Africa needs to change something”

There is hardly an African country income differences are not as large as in Nigeria

“Facade democracy” as a strategy

In the arms of the Kingdom of Lesotho in southern Africa, members earned monthly 1800 Euro, but the per capita income is, according to Bergstresser at 2700 Euro in the year. The small, diamond-rich Botswana had a high income with 13.400 euros per Person and a politician were only around 1800 euros per month. “But the allowances remain as is so often hidden,” he criticizes. Ben the income of politicians rule a high lack of transparency.

Bergstresser is convinced, the discrepancy between the “rulers and Ruled” had grown in the last 30 years in many places. The development of democracy in Africa is relatively young, he says: “The desire for more freedom has led to the outside democratic structures, what it has turned out so far, as a facade of democracy that is sold to foreign countries as a process of democratization.” The concern for additional financial support from abroad, but the African elites are not provided for redistribution in their countries.