Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka
The Minority Chief Whip in Parliament, Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka has stated that Members of Parliament (MPs) are under severe financial pressure due to the nature of their work.
According to him, MPs, who represent the people of Ghana, are simply working to be poor.
Speaking at a parliamentary constituency forum in Bekwai over the weekend, the MP for Asawase stated that the car loan facility that is forced on MPs is burdensome and torturous.
The programme, which is an initiative of the Public Affairs Unit of Parliament, brought together people from diverse backgrounds, including chiefs, who posed questions to the MPs on some aspect of their work in parliament.
Alhaji Muntaka commented: “With the pressure brought to bear on MPs to amortise the loan plus the cost incurred during party primaries, no one should tell you that we’re simply working poor.”
“No one should endure this as part of his job, and we take this problem extremely seriously because not even the aggregation of our monthly salaries in addition to the ex-gratia can offset the cost that we incur,” the MP said.
He appealed to voters and constituents not to burden MPs with demand of money so as not to tempt them to be corrupt, intimating that Ghana’s politics has always been rough.
The Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said MPs are not agents of development, but facilitators, who should never promise developmental projects while canvassing for the votes of the electorate.
According to him, MPs share of the Common Fund cannot construct a six-unit classroom block and roads, arguing that such funds could only purchase roofing sheets and bags of cement for the needy constituents.
“You should hold the executive, including the District Assemblies, accountable. They have the money to spend on development; they have the responsibility to construct roads, classroom blocks and provide potable water for you,” Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu asserted.
He educated participants on the work of legislators, and called on the electorate to elect wise and knowledgeable people to the august House.
Other speakers at the programme were the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who is also the MP for Bekwai, Emmanuel Gyamfi, MP for Odotobiri and Alhaji Mohammed Briamah Bawah of Ejura-Sekyedumase Constituency.
From Ernest Kofi Adu, Bekwai