Buhera South Member of Parliament Joseph Chinotimba has asked Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda to allow a parliamentary delegation of 20 legislators, 10 from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and 10 from the Movement for Democratic Change to go on a tour of South Africa and see how cheap things still are in Zimbabwe.
He told Parliament yesterday that he was in South Africa for the whole of last week and realised that fuel and bread were cheaper in Zimbabwe than they were in South Africa.
*HON. CHINOTIMBA: I rise on a point of privilege Hon. Speaker. I want to inform Hon. Members, through you that I was in South Africa the whole of last week. What I witnessed there gave me an idea and if it is permissible for Hon. Members to be given a chance to go and make their investigations in terms of pricing in South Africa and that in Zimbabwe and how this operates. We can take 10 members from the ruling party and 10 from the opposition just to have a tour and see how things are in South Africa.
I realise that our diesel is much cheaper than in South Africa. Their diesel is R16 yet their rand is 14:1US$. Here in Zimbabwe our US dollar is 8RTGs$ on the black market, while the interbank rate it is 5 RTGS$, which means that our diesel is cheaper than in South Africa by far. What is needed here is cushion in terms of salaries for the people and workers. If Parliament is allowed to carry out investigations as to the hardships that we are facing – we send a delegation to do investigations and then come and report to this House without insulting each other. We are busy having misunderstandings and yet people are coming from South Africa to get diesel in Zimbabwe. Their bread is R15 which is a dollar plus whilst here bread is going for RTGS$3.50. So, we want to find out what the main challenge is, whether it is the black market or what.
This is my point of privilege – if it is possible through you Mr. Speaker, we should meet with the Head of State to enable us to go and conduct investigations and comparing with what happens in South Africa. I realised that our salaries should be in tandem with the cost of living. When I consider our salaries, they are at the rate of 1:1 and that has not changed. So my request is that all Hon. Members understand me, even Hon. Mliswa, that if we were to send Hon. Mliswa and myself to go and tour, investigate and really find out what is happening, it will assist us to determine where we are as Zimbabwe. I think that would assist our economy a lot. I thank you.