Over E1m pay out for Bheki Mkhonta
MBABANE – The family of Bheki Sandile Mkhonta, the late Member of Parliament for Mtsambama Constituency in the Shiselweni region, will receive close to E1 million as terminal benefits.
This is contained in the contentious Finance Circular No.1 of 2010 for the terms and conditions of Service for politicians.
The Fund, as per the circular, includes among other benefits –
* Group life insurance of double the annual salary in the event of death of a member
* Funeral assistance of E20 000 for member
The terminal benefits for Parliamentarians read thus: "An ex-gratia payment is an amount which after tax is equal to 25 per cent of gross salary earned during the term of office.
Mkhonta had been in office for close to four years (44 months).
The benefits will also include pension fund for politicians.
Currently, MPs are remunerated a basic monthly salary of E26 682.42 excluding other perks like constituency, housing, commuted car and entertainment allowances.
The basic salaries for Parliamentarians, probably with effect from this month, will hike to over E28 000 per month. This follows the resolution by the House of Assembly to nullify the 10 per cent pay cuts on their basic salaries with effect from last month.
This means that Mkhonta, even though deceased, will also benefit hugely from the nullification of the pay reduction.
Finance Minister Majozi Sithole, in an interview a fortnight ago, said, as government, they would definitely abide by the Parliament resolution.
Sithole pledged that the nullification of the pay cuts would be back-dated to the effective date – the beginning of last month.
Speaker Prince Guduza is Chairman of the Sessional Committee which is responsible for the Pension Fund for Parliamentarians. The fund was established in 1993.
Efforts to get comment from the prince with regard to the terminal benefits of the late legislator drew a blank as his mobile phone rang unanswered on several occasions. MP Mkhonta was buried at Makhalatsini in Hlathikhulu this past weekend.
Chief Malamlela’s family also to benefit handsomely
MBABANE – The late Senator Chief Malamlela Magagula’s family also stands to benefit handsomely – courtesy of the controversial Finance Circular No.1 of 2010.
Magagula, an erstwhile National Court President, died while undergoing treatment in one of the clinics in Manzini last Thursday.
His terminal benefits, as per the circular, are likely to be the same as MP Mkhonta.
His Majesty King Mswati III appointed the chief into Senate in October 2008.
He is the second senator to die in the Ninth Parliament following the demise of Chief Khondlo Sibandze sometime in 2010.
Chief Malamlela is expected to be buried this weekend.
We can’t do anything - NAPSAWU
MBABANE – The National Public Services and Allied Workers Union (NAPSAWU) has washed its hands on the terminal benefits belonging to the late Mtsambama Member of Parliament Bheki ‘No Problem’ Mkhonta and Senator Malamlela Magagula.
NAPSAWU Secretary General, Vincent Dlamini, said the duo deserved the payout as per the provisions of Circular No.1 of 2010.
"It’s his entitlement and there’s absolutely nothing we can do," Dlamini said. "As legislators, they deserve to benefit from the circular as will be the case with the rest of the MPs." He said as a union, their hands were tied on the beneficiaries of the contentious circular.
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