Windhoek — DTA of Namibia Member of Parliament Kazeongere Tjeundo says it would be better to increase the salaries of nurses, police officers, correctional officers and teachers than that of the country’s president.
Making his contribution to a debate on the President’s Remuneration and Other Benefits Bill under discussion in the National Council yesterday, Tjeundo said “no father eats before his children eat”.
“If the president has a tax-free salary and a range of benefits, my question is what other expenses does he have for us to consider an increment?” he said.
Swapo MP Ruth Nhinda said President Hifikepunye Pohamba’s salary was “very low” compared to what other presidents on the continent earned.
“President Pohamba is a husband and a father, and also a breadwinner like any other husband. Do we want to say Namibia cannot afford to pay her president at the level which presidents in other African countries are being paid?” she asked.
The MP said that Pohamba deserves a salary increase as he has not received any for the past seven years.
Commenting on a proposal that First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba should receive free medical treatment, the DTA’s Tjendo said money intended for such free medical treatment should instead be directed to treating poor, unemployed, disadvantaged and vulnerable people.
Also contributing to the debate, Swapo MP Nimrod Muremi said Namibians “should be proud of the peace and stability the country enjoys because of the good leadership of the Swapo Party government and its President Hifikepunye Pohamba”.
“There is low corruption amongst our country’s leaders because the government tries its best to take care of its leaders,” he said.
He then appealed to Prime Minister Nahas Angula to ensure that the salaries of the president and political office-bearers are reviewed every five years to enable them to cope with the ever-increasing cost of living.