Who negotiated for Circular No.1 perks?'
MBABANE – Businessman Walter Bennett wants to know who negotiated on the politicians’ behalf for such hefty perks in Finance Circular No.1 of 2010.
He questioned the legitimacy of the circular and said it was not transparent, based on the fact there were no negotiations before it was put into effect. Bennett said this during an interview in his office yesterday.
"All employees negotiate with their employer for an increment, either represented by unions or themselves. So, where were the negotiations in Circular No.1, except for the remote engagement of a consultant rightly or wrongly, under the employer which is Cabinet?" Bennett asked.
Bennett felt that the circular was densely in favour of Cabinet and it is against the backbenchers (the MPs). He said the circular was not an ideal and acceptable way to pay politicians, adding that it was unaffordable and unsustainable.
He strongly feels the ongoing teachers’ protest and Circular No.1 of 2010 are related and contentious issues.
The businessman said taxpayers and citizens needed to be represented by parliamentarians and Cabinet ministers who received fair compensation, subject to affordability.
Addressing the teachers’ strike, Bennett depicted a hypothetical scenario, saying, "It is not feasible to tell another person not to ask for an increment of 10 per cent when you have awarded yourself 30 per cent."
The former senator called for the circular to be revoked for the country’s politicians to enjoy peace of mind and avoid having the circular repeatedly thrown in their faces.
Bennett said revoking the circular would allow politicians to focus on other challenges faced by the country instead of spending time debating the circular.
He called for the review of politicians’ salaries by an independent consultant, adding that Parliament needed to revisit the idea of having a Parliament Service Commission (PSC) which he felt was a massive oversight on the part of former Prime Minister Absalom Themba Dlamini.
According to Bennett, the current situation regarding the ongoing teachers’ strike and controversial circular could be corrected by putting aside Circular No.1 of 2010, implementing a PSC and reviewing politicians’ salaries.
Bennett opined that national cooperation in the prevailing situation would be achieved once the suggested implementations had been made.
He called for Cabinet to be considerate and acknowledge the impact the circular had on development funds.
"The poorer we are today, the more difficult it will be for the youth tomorrow," Bennett stated.
Personally i feel this circular No:1 has brought confusion to the country at large. Bennett is right, why go with something everyone in the country is against..Just saying
July 4, 2012, 9:56 AM, lindz
Walter Bennett is very right. To prove that our politicians have the interest of the country in heart they must remove this circular
July 4, 2012, 9:56 AM, mbasha (email@example.com)
I've always complained about Bennett for this or that. However, I am moved by, and proud of, the mature constructive comments he's been making in the past two weeks about the teachers' strikes. I've been praying for a sensible leader to rise and guide us through this gov't-created fine mess, except I didn't know the leader was going to be Bennett. But I'm not complaining for one second. Thank you Mr Bennett, and good job sir. Keep it up!
July 4, 2012, 9:56 AM, Kate (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I personally ask the same question because when it comes to the issue of civil servants they reached a deadlock in a miagre percentage but we're not told about a proposed ongoing review on this issue of circular no.1. And its a blessing to have people like Walter Bennett because they call a spade a spade when things are not going well. Lakhi Madala
July 4, 2012, 9:56 AM, Dlamini Lucky Q. (email@example.com)
I strongly believe that the circular be brought to parliament like any other money issues, as it is we assume that the politicians knew that there will be no salary increase for the next 3 years which is the 10% each year if u remember well just after the circular was implemented economic crisis was annonced viva wayawaya.we need justice and transparency.
July 4, 2012, 9:56 AM, nonhle
Circular Number 1 of 2010 is the evil brought by the current cabinet, much against a public outcry. The fact that the nation has been calling for the cancellation of this circular without success clearly demonstrates that the masses are powerless in this unique ''democracy'' of ours. I wonder what should happen to see this controversial circular scrapped off, because all has been said to no success. It boils down to poor leadership.
July 4, 2012, 9:56 AM, Spot On!
This circular is a litmus test for our leadership.
July 4, 2012, 9:56 AM, Litmus
If Goverment is willing to listen to what the people or the teachers are saying then this problem would have been curbed but since our Government is turning a blind eye this is what they should expect.This serves them right they never considered the fact that Swazis will be against the circular.Well put Mr Bennett.For as long as the Government is serving its interests this is what will come to them
Jul 4, 2012, 9:56 AM, charles (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bennett is right, this is one of I believe clear and unbiased inputs ever made on the subject that also seeks to provide solutions for the future with the suggestion for including PSC. To me actually, whether the review was done by consultant appointed by whomsoever or done by PSC, my issue is that the timing was bad, period. You can not, soon after 'loosening your belt tell others to tighten theirs'. My only point of departure to Bennett's point of view is where he seems to exonerate Parliament from capability; when we are told this circular was discussed in a closed caucus meeting; so the MPs can not deny knowledge of it. These two arms of government acted in common purpose here. This is why neither cabinet nor MPs can engage civil servants and plead economic crisis for their failure to negotiate pay rise; they have no moral ground to stand on this matter.
Jul 4, 2012, 10:04 AM, Burns Dlamini (Lobhoncela) (Burnspolitics@gmail.com)
I always thought this papa talk alot of gibberish, and is an attention seeker, but here he is spot on!
Jul 4, 2012, 2:14 PM, mlungisi Veron (email@example.com)
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