KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
UNITED Party for National Development secretary general Stephen Katuka says the parliamentary committee on modernisation should establish a pension fund which will be used to take care of members of Parliament (MPs) after they retire.
Mr Katuka said in an interview yesterday that it is sad and embarrassing to see former parliamentarians, and especially former ministers, live in poverty after their retirement.
“As legislators, MPs must live a happy life after retirement and continue contributing to the country’s democratic dispensation,” he said.
Mr Katuka said this can only happen if they invest in a pension scheme of some kind and be able to contribute to it while serving as MPs.
He said after serving for five or 10 years, MPs can start getting an allowance on a monthly basis like a salary to help them.
Mr Katuka urged the parliamentary committee on modernisation to look at how a similar scheme operates in Kenya and Ghana and establish one for the Zambian Parliament.
“Parliament should also move away from buying vehicles for its members but should instead get them houses first as a way of empowering and preparing them for the future,” he said.
Mr Katuka, who is former chairperson of the parliamentary committee on modernisation, said it is embarrassing to see former MPs begging or asking for transport.
He said members of his committee did what they could and that it is up to the current committee to move on and plan for all MPs.
“I have from time to time met some former MPs in a bad state, it feels bad even talking to them. The committee has an opportunity to change things now,” he said.