MPs seek protection for families of deceased colleagues
MPs on Tuesday expressed disapproval over what they termed as an unfitting manner in which families of deceased MPs are subjected to untold suffering, citing benefits such as vehicles they formerly owned which are confiscated upon death.
MP Liberata Kayitesi stressed that the issue was “very troubling”, observing that when an MP passes away, the government immediately slaps the family with taxes (on the vehicles) that had earlier been waived thus making it almost impossible for surviving members to carry on with payments.
Parliamentarians, like other government officials, are facilitated to get transport tax-free, and pay for the vehicles in installments. However, according to the legislators, upon death, the taxes are reinstated once an MP dies before clearing the loan.
The issue was raised as the Minister of Public Service and Labour, Anastase Murekezi, tabled the draft organic law to determine allowances and fringe benefits for the country’s topmost politicians.
She agitated for a revision of the trend and facilitate the family of an MP who passes away as such a member has not left Parliament dishonorably.
MP Giovanni Renzaho, also backed up Kayitesi, noting that similar unbefitting circumstances had befallen families of departed lawmakers.
“In the past we have seen our comrades leave us. But there have been difficulties especially to do with vehicles. This is not fitting for the family of one of ours who served for the country and has actually not left in disgrace,” Renzaho noted.
“There should be respect for an MP who passes on”.
Murekezi acknowledged the lawmakers’ concerns but could not devise an immediate solution. The present organic law determines allowances and fringe benefits for high ranking political leaders.
According to the bill, the state of high-ranking political leaders is classified into four categories on the basis of the weight of their jobs.
The first category shall comprise of the President of the Republic, while the second category is that of the Prime Minister, the President of Senate and the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.
The third category comprises Ministers; Vice Presidents of Senate; Deputy Speakers; State Ministers; Governors of Provinces and the Mayor of the City of Kigali.
The fourth category comprises Senators and Deputies.