Members of the Judge Joseph Warioba-led Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) were paid Sh250,000 each per day, The Citizen on Saturday can authoritatively reveal.
But the amount rose to Sh330,000 each for every day that the 30 commissioners travelled out of Dar es Salaam city, which was considered their work station.
Judge Warioba declined to confirm or deny the figures yesterday when the question was put to him by The Citizen on Saturday. All he would say was that the information was confidential. He did, however, confirm to our sister publication Mwananchi on Thursday that they earned lower amounts than what the CA members are receiving.
The Citizen on Saturday independently established that the commissioners who drafted the first and second draft constitution earned Sh200,000 as responsibility allowance plus Sh50,000 for “leadership”.
The additional Sh80,000 paid during upcountry trips was pegged at the current government rate for subsistence allowance, according to impeccable sources that worked with the CRC team. That would mean CA members now in Dodoma will pocket more in allowances than CRC members.
Each of the 629 CA members President Jakaya Kikwete named a week ago will earn Sh300,000 daily for the 70 to 90 days within which they are expected to have finished fine-tuning the second draft of the constitution.
The amount paid to CA members is split into Sh220,000 in responsibility allowance and Sh80,000 in subsistence allowance.
This suggests that, more often than not, a CA member will earn Sh50,000 more in daily pay than what the former PM and AU Secretary-General, Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, were paid when they worked for the CRC.
The CA members’ allowances will amount to Sh9 million each per month against Sh7.5 million for the same period earned by each member of the Warioba commission.
A demand by some CA members to have their allowances more than doubled to Sh700,000 has plagued the opening days of their meeting and attracted a public backlash. The unpopular demand was ignited by Mr Richard Ndasa (Sumve-CCM) who said the cost of living in Dodoma would overwhelm the 201 non-MP delegates.
Mr Ndasa accused the government of favouring the CRC, claiming its members were paid more than Sh500,000 every day. What they will be paid in Dodoma is equal to what CRC drivers were paid, he added.
The push for a raise saw the CA interim chairman, Mr Pandu Ameir Kificho, pick a committee to chart the way forward. The team, which began meeting yesterday, comprises Mr William Lukuvi, Mr Freeman Mbowe, Mr Paul Kimiti, Mr Mohamed Abood Mohamed, Ms Asha Bakari Makame and Ms Jenista Mhagama.
Scores of CA members and a cross section of Tanzanians have taken to social media networks and radio and TV talk shows to rally support for the rejection of any move to raise the allowances. At the current approved rates, the 629 CA members will cost the taxpayers Sh189 million a day. They will sit for 70 days, with the President allowed to give them another 20 days should an extension be necessary.
The CRC worked for 18 months, with the state providing transport and other support services for the entire period of their work.
Yesterday, a member of the CRC who requested anonymity said he was shocked that the CA members had the audacity to blackmail the government into raising their allowances. “What we are hearing from Dodoma is pathetic and a stab in the back for the public,” said the commissioner. “I sympathise with the President, who is being let down by the same people he trusted with a national calling.”
The CA comprises 201 interest group members nominated by the President, all the Union MPs and 80 members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives.