Don’t put us up in brothels, Zimbabwe MP says


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Independent Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa has complained that legislators are being short-changed by being accommodated in places like the Harare Club which he said was literally a brothel.

He said that some of the places were not good for married Members of Parliament as this was likely to cause pain and disharmony in their families.

Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda said this was being sorted out as some hotels had not been paid for six to nine months.

“They have been owed for a long time and what they are owed now has been eaten up by inflation.  These are the concerns also from the hotels.  They also want value for money.  So these are the issues and we will sort it out,” Mudanda said.  

“Any challenges are there to be sorted out and get solutions accordingly and I am sure we should be able to find lasting solutions to that effect.”

Full debate:

HON. T. MLISWA:  We thank you Hon. Speaker for the announcement of the Pre-budget Seminar which is starting from the 21st October.  I think it is also important for you to know that the conditions which the Members of Parliament are facing are rather sad.  Not only that, just the decency and dignity, we are fast losing it  because of the accommodation crisis, we have Members of Parliament staying at places like the Harare Club, which is a no star and a brothel.  Our human dignity is at stake.  I think if at all there are no means of accommodation, it is good to advice Members of Parliament not to come, rather than exposing them to such places.  Others are married and being seen in such places does not augur well.  It causes a lot of pain and disharmony in a family. 

The challenges which we are facing right now, reflect on a number of issues. On our terms of conditions, being a Member of Parliament, I have never signed a contract or agreement to my terms or conditions of my salary, allowances, the package of the car, pension and so forth.  I think it is important that once that is done, it sets a good precedence, moving forward.  Even if Parliament itself is not able to do that but there is a written document, which guides Members of Parliament on what they are entitled to.

Not only that Mr. Speaker Sir, we have several times said why can we not be given money to find our own accommodation and cook our food because the health we are exposed to in terms of food in the hotels is not healthy.  If we had been given money to pay for our accommodation and food, these issues would not be happening monthly.  Right now, I know certain things are probably beyond your control but we are just lost sheep.  I am glad that the Hon. Vice President is here.  Hawasisina kwekugara vana wenyu maMembers of Parliament and it is becoming difficult for us to conduct our responsibilities, our mandate by standing here. 

I do not know Mr. Speaker Sir, you have Ambassador Hotel, what class hotel is it?  What class hotel is a Member of Parliament entitled to stay in?  You have got the Rainbow which is probably Four Star or Five Star and then the other Member goes to a Two Star hotel.  So whether there is discrimination, how then are we equal when one is in a Five Star hotel and the other one is in a Two Star hotel?

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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