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Former Member of Parliament for Berekum, Captain Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey (retd), has said he never saw lawmakers accepting bribes for the approval of bills and government contracts while he was in parliament for two terms.
He explained to Alfred Ocansey on the Sunrise show on 3FM 92.7 that legislators are given allowances to cater for their expenses after they have attended a retreat to discuss into detail a bill before the approval.
That, he said, cannot be described as a bribe.
“I never had the experience of seeing an MP taking bribe or a gift,” he said.
“What I know happens is that if for instance, there is a bill coming up for debate, there is a committee in the House, the Committee goes to the retreat to look at the bill in detail pending parliamentary approval. After the retreat, you are given small allowances to take care of the weekend. That is all and I won’t call that bribe,” the former deputy minister for the Interior under the Kufuor administration said.
Touching on the condition of ex-MPs in Ghana, he noted that a lot of former lawmakers are wallowing in abject poverty after they left parliament.
He said life at the moment is unbearable for some of the former MPs because they did not have a trade of their own before entering parliament.
He told Ocansey that being a lawmaker in Ghana is not lucrative as many perceive it to be.
“The way I see them [ex-MPs] in town is not good especially those who are not professionals.
“If you go to parliament as a teacher for eight years or for four years, you don’t step in the classroom and you are relying only on your salary as an MP, if the president makes you a minister or deputy minister, maybe you will get some small allowances but when all these are cut off you have a problem,” he said.
He further said most lawmakers before entering parliament do not know that it is not a juicy job, hence get disappointed after they are voted for.
“They don’t know, apart from the glamour what else?” He said.
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