Mliswa tells Chamisa to shut up on allowances for MPs – these are contractual obligations with Parliament not with CCC


HON. T. MLISWA:  My point of national interest is to do with the welfare of Members of Parliament, generally it is of national interest because this institution is critical regarding the governance of this country. 

Madam Speaker, on the benchmarking exercises which have been done by this Parliament to various places in the SADC region, our Parliament is the least paid.  As we speak, we used to be paid 70 000 RTGS, it has now gone up to 200 000 which is a mere US$150; it is even below the poverty datum line which is about $500.  I would like to urge the Government to ensure that an institution like Parliament cannot be compromised.  There are a lot of corruption cases, allegations in this Parliament and that emanates from the welfare of the Members of Parliament.  There are so many Committees as well that are involved in these cases of corruption; Members are being paid money by certain business people so that they do not bring up issues because we are not well capacitated. 

If you look at the amount of money that is spent on accommodation alone, Members of Parliament can at least be given $150 000 to $200 000 each time they come to Parliament for the five years of their tenure.  They do not stay in hotels but then the Government itself does not see the need of empowering them yet they spend the money paying for hotels.  If that money was to be calculated, each Member of Parliament would have a house and not stay in hotels. 

We do not stay in hotels because we want to stay in hotels, but we stay in hotels because we have no option, and Parliament sends us there. It is important that monies be calculated to ensure that people will have an option.  We are not young children; a Member of Parliament must choose either to be given the amount of money which is going to be spent on accommodation and they do not stay in hotels.  However, if one chooses to stay in a hotel that is okay.  I am talking about money that is budgeted for. Why is it that we have never been given an option to take that money and use it for our own accommodation? 

Once again, who is making money from us staying in hotels?  It also opens a can of corruption itself.  We have a right to choose whether to stay in hotels and/or not stay in hotels.  The dignity of Members of Parliament has totally been affected.  Members of Parliament are being kicked out of hotels all the time they come and so forth.  Nobody cares about it.

Madam Speaker, the reason why and I want this to be on record, the reason why other Members of Parliament  (I want the media to capture this) were seen sleeping in the new Parliament building is that they are used to stay in brothels and are used to sleeping in cars.  It was the first time they were in a very comfortable position.  So you cannot blame Members of Parliament who are sleeping in cars and who are sleeping in brothels.  So it was the first time they encountered comfort, how can you blame them?

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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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