The 'Malnourished' Life Of MPs

Most probably, Hon Ursula Owusu was saying the plain truth when she boldly came out to disclose that she sometimes struggles to cater for her family.

After undertaking my mandatory one year national service at the Parliament of Ghana and serving as a Special Assistant to an MP for over six (6) years, I have come to appreciate the enormous challenges that confront our MPs. The experience helped changed a perception I had that MPs were very rich people.

Look, there were countless times when we had to borrow fuel to power our car back to Accra because all the monies we carried to the constituency were used on the constituents.

There were also times when we had to sneak out of the constituency at midnight because we could no longer cater the needs of those constituents who were going to troop to the MP’s residence the next morning.

As early as 5:00 a.m. you have people knocking at your door to come and see “Honourable” with all kinds of request some of which were absurd but the MP had to listen to them anyway.

As the assistant to the MP, one of my major roles was to prepare breakfast for all those who visited the MP in the morning because you “dare not” take tea while they look on. 

Interestingly, many of the MPs are not bold enough to come out publicly and disclose some of this information, apparently for fear of incurring the wrath of their constituents.

 It is against this background that I see the call on Hon. Ursula by Mr. Frankline Asare-Donkoh , a Political Scientist and  Media Expert to resign as misplaced and harsh.

Basically, what I want to say is that Members of Parliament are always under intense financial pressure from their constituents.

I personally believe among the three arms of state: The Executive, The Judiciary and the Legislature, the MPs are the ‘most malnourished’.   A judge or minister of state does not have to share his or her salary with anyone but the MP must share it the constituents.

In fact, I pity the Parliamentary Aspirants who go about paying monies to delegates to enable them materialize their dreams of getting to Parliament. They may be laughing at the wrong side of their mouths.