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Prudence in Public Fund Management

May 12, 2008, 5:30 AM

It is common knowledge that the evolution of systems of government over the millennia has culminated in the adoption of varied forms. While some of these forms of government have proven undesirable to given people in given circumstances, there is no gainsaying the fact that the one system with the widest appeal in the modern age is representative democracy. This is so because the system makes for the acceptable enforcement of the authority of few over many, in due recognition of the fact that the right to govern could only be derived from the people. The system presupposes that the chosen representatives necessarily have to take charge of the affairs of the ruled.

It was in this spirit that shortly after the January Local Government elections, we used our precious space to advise elected representatives to exercise caution in the way they manage tax payers' money. We emphasized that all elected representatives should be on their guard against the temptation of enriching themselves by diverting tax monies that are meant to provide good roads, clean drinking water, street light, et cetera.

Now however, we feel duty bound to write this piece having received very disturbing news that a certain municipality has started paying its councilors whopping sums of between D2, 000.00 - D3, 000.00 for every sitting that they make in a week. We are informed that the said council can sit for up to about two to three days a week depending on when they prefer to. Simple arithmetic brings the amounts collectible to between D4,000 - D6,000 per councilor per week.

As if this is not enough, the reported habit of misusing vehicles purchased and maintained from the poor taxpayer's money is too worrying for comfort. This in our view is unacceptable and uncalled-for.

We therefore want to remind that particular municipality of the Gelaga King Commission some years ago that disgraced certain individuals who were in the habit of misusing the money belonging to the people. As the mouthpiece of the poor, this paper will not relent in exposing that particular municipality after a through investigation.

We therefore hope that this piece will serve as a warning to the council concerned.

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