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"Destitute" Members Of Parliament Embarrassed

Zimbabwe’s Members of Parliament reportedly earn ZWL$60 000 a month, which translates to less than US$100 on the parallel market.

The lawmakers are used to luxurious hotel lifestyles where they are usually booked into the Meikles, Holiday Inn, and Jameson, among other hotels.

But their plight has been worsened by Treasury’s failure to pay their hotel bills when they come to Harare for sittings.

Makoni South MP David Tekeshe (MDC Alliance) said that MPs were being locked out of hotels, a situation that he said was embarrassing and sickening for the lawmakers.

He proposed an arrangement where the MPs could get sufficient funds to look after themselves.

National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda said it was demeaning that legislators were being subjected to that kind of treatment.

Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (ZANU PF) said Zimbabwe should adopt the South African model, which he said is similar to Namibia and Botswana models. He said:

In South Africa, Parliament is in Cape Town and the government buildings are in Pretoria. Whenever they go to Parliament they go to Cape Town.

Upon arrival they have houses where they live, they do not use hotels, and they have apartments, and the houses do not belong to individual members but are allocated to members for use during their term.

Namibia and Botswana are the same; instead of honourable members standing up daily raising points of order and saying they are not being looked after and being chased away from hotels, why not take the example of other countries?

The other option is to give them money so that they meet their own expenses. The hotels are very expensive. Members consume meals that are more than their salaries.

It is painful that for the four days that members live in a hotel the expenses are not even equivalent to their salaries.

Members of Parliament must be given the money in the form of salaries.

Harare East MP Tendai Biti (CCC) said Finance minister Mthuli Ncube must present himself to Parliament to speak on the welfare issues of MPs.

Recently, MDC-T senator Morgen Komichi said MPs and civil servants have been reduced to vagabonds.

More: The NewsHawks

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