Public Officials should be Well-Remunerated
As Parliament, we say public officials should be well-remunerated and should declare their wealth. Public officials are servants of the people and should not use politics or public positions that they occupy to accumulate wealth instead of improving the standards of living of the general population. There should not be red tape when public officers sign deals with foreign investors as this will make our country not investor friendly with a negative impact on our economic growth. Our current situation is that most of the public officers are running big businesses such as retail, farming, energy and transport. Thus, there is great temptation that they may use their influence or power to award each other or their close associates lucrative tenders or business licences, thus conflict of interest. Therefore, there should be separation between State offices and business.
Dismissal of Current Board Members and CEOs
Let us talk about the current boards. His Excellency has enunciated in his new dispensation that we should see those boards which are not operating profitably being privatised. That is positive as compared to the era of the past and I am encouraging that it should be done, and also to make sure that those who have been appointed on the boards should not exceed at least two terms, then they should give an opportunity to others.
We have said this over and over, but we never saw it being practiced. I am hopeful His Excellency is going to ensure that this is implemented. E-governance should be installed in all our Government departments. Why am I encouraging that? This is simply because it reduces the interface where people will talk to each other and envelopes exchanging hands. With e-governance, somebody just communicates, gets his information, and pays for whatever fees that one is supposed to pay and whatever levies without that interface where there is a possibility of corruption taking place.
Freedom of expression and association as it is enshrined in our Constitution on Section 59, it is important that people should be in a situation where they can freely air out their grievances to the Government and the Government in the process, should put corrective measures other than having to thwart that freedom of expression as we witnessed in the past. I can go on and give examples.
We have seen war veterans being incarcerated in the past for expressing themselves and we are saying in this new dispensation, freedom of expression as it is enshrined under Section 59, should be allowed. We have seen that in this new dispensation and the positive inauguration speech of His Excellency, we are going to ensure that freedom of expression is going to be practiced.
Let me come to laws which cause unnecessary disharmony in society, for example AIPPA and POSA. These laws are nothing but bring disharmony in society. I am saying for purposes of peace and harmony in society in this new era, we should see such laws which cause unnecessary division among ourselves being repealed.
Continued next page