So this morning, on my way to work, i listened to the Kampala City Lord Mayor, as he was hosted on a radio talk show, 93.3 KFm’s D’Mighty Breakfast – the subject of which was related to corruption in the public service, and the president’s recommendation to scrap bail for some cases.
As vocal as ever, Chris Obore suggested that its plainly absurd for a Permanent Secretary to earn about 2.5M UGX per month, and still be expected to manage Authorities in the same ministry, many of which have their directors earning more than 10 times that. That a Principle accountant who earns 1.2M UGX cannot be expected to effectively steward a budget of 1Bn UGX under him, without the expectation that he could dip his hands in the till.
This has got me thinking – not just about the numbers, but the spirit of stewardship. It suggests a number of things: 1, that in this nation, your salary speaks volumes about your authority, and therefore it doesn’t matter what the Lord Mayor thinks of the City’s ED, the fact that she earns twice his pay, therein lies an authority problem. That she can do as she pleases, or that she does not have to report to him at all…
The second problem, is one of stewardship – being able to take care of what has been entrusted to us, regardless of our own circumstances. Am starting to believe that in a nation like ours, you need to earn 30 million UGX to take effective care of a budget of 20mil. I start to wonder, from home, that my children’s nanny controls everything in the fridge, and pantry, as well as bathroom store, usually a monthly bill of more than 200K – and yet she earns way less than that. I do expect her to manage this “estate” wisely, cunningly, as the woman of the house would, if not better.
The I drive to work, where i have over 20mil in investments this month alone. No i do not earn that much, but am expected, and i had better, manage that estate well – because its clear if I cannot administer this small estate, how will I expect to to be made responsible for bigger things?
20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ – Matthew 25:
I have always believed, that the family is the basic unit of a nation, and how we live in the families is a basic reflection of the rest of the nation – we cannot live better or more professionally at work, than we live at home. If we waste salt, and drink excessive sugar, scream at the maid, and mistreat the cats, the sum of everything we do eventually grows and rises into the community, and when we become leaders, we are no different!
We accuse the maid of waste, when infact we over look our own failures to supervise and direct – something the Lord Mayor insists applies to the embattled Office of the Prime Minister Permanent Secretary. We suggest to punish at the slightest accusation (read: selective bail), when infact we overlook our own downtrodden moral authority to point the finger.
Over to you – should your salary determine the level, and quality of stewardship of the resources that have been entrusted to you? Should your salary determine your authority?