HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. My point of national interest pertains to the welfare of the Members of Parliament. We are very few here as a result of accommodation challenges and this is partly why my other colleagues lost because of lack of resources. This is a serious issue because they cannot participate here.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. T. Mliswa, you are not connected.
HON. T. MLISWA: Thank you Madam Speaker. Madam Speaker this institution is important in that it must never lack resources at any given time because it is responsible for the other two arms of the State, the Judiciary and the Executive. If it not well taken care of, how then does a country move forward when we only have a few people here to debate on national issues? They cannot be accommodated in hotels, they are sleeping in cars, they are impoverished, they are using their own monies because allowances come late. Their salaries are not even worth it, they are forced to go to campaign for elections without even being paid allowances. It is quite sad that no action is taken and this institution is not taking it seriously.
I would blame the Executive for being responsible for the failure of the Members of Parliament. Even those that lost, I think it was part of the machinations of the Executive to make sure that they do not resource this Parliament so that some of the people do not come back. It will be amiss for me not to also discuss and contribute on the Members of Parliament who lost in the elections. Some worked hard, some did what they could and some promised things that this House was supposed to provide. We went and told people that there will be Information Centres but the centres are not there.
We went and told people – visiting their constituencies, promising certain constituency allowance but they did not get it. With just those two things that I have mentioned, people will not want to entertain you and call you a liar, how can they vote you back into office? It is the responsibility of the Executive and I blame the Executive for deliberately letting these Members of Parliament down. The welfare of their vehicles, $30 000 is supposed to be given to these Members of Parliament. I prayed to God that they must go for elections with that 30 000 and with a brand-new car so that they would be able to campaign. They only had one car, yet we were promised a car. Why did that car not come? The Executive is celebrating and smiling at the demise of Members of Parliament because they only have one vehicle.
Where is the $30 000 that was budgeted for, which is in the Blue Book, which was supposed to be given to these Members of Parliament to have their vehicles? It is not a favour; it is something which has got to be done. If figures in the Blue Book are not adhered to, who is to blame? So once again, they were totally under resourced in whatever they did.
Finally, the issue of welfare is an issue of serious case as long as this institution is not respected and enough money is not given. Hon. Ministers were given $500 000 for houses, Deputy Ministers $350 000, Senior Directors in the CIO $350 000. We do oversight and pass their budget here and when $40 000 was being given to Members of Parliament, there was no noise. I have never seen where when a father is given more meat, the children complain. The father is given more meat so that he has energy to go and get more for his children. We are the mothers and fathers of this nation, but we are not well resourced. So you will see a continuation of Members of Parliament who are coming in for one term only.
By the way, those who are coming in, I wish you all the best, you are going to serve one term as well because you know there is no capacity to serve for a second term.
Continued next page