Justice Minister Emerson Mnangagwa today said he was not sure when Members of Parliament who were not re-elected and those still owed allowances for the last parliament sittings will be paid.
The Herald reported two months ago that legislators were owed $5.4 million in allowances and $4 million of that was for the last parliament.
Responding to a question from Senator James Makore who wanted to know when allowances for the last parliament would be paid since the rainy season was approaching, Mnangagwa said the Clerk of Parliament had written several letters to him and to the Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa, requesting funds but these had not been availed up to now.
“That, I can assure you is a very live issue with myself, the Clerk of Parliament, the President of the Senate and the Speaker on one side. On the other side of the table, there is Mr. Chinamasa. So, be very clear that we are on one side on this issue. So we will do our best to make sure we will continue putting pressure for you to have those funds,” he said.
Q & A:
SENATOR MAKORE: Thank you very much Madam President. My question is directed to the Hon. Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. As we are approaching the rainy season, we expect perhaps to approach it very preparedly. Therefore, I want some information from the Hon. Minister with regards to some small allowances of the Seventh Parliament so that ultimately those who did not make it to the Eighth Parliament can be empowered with the very little resources that they have. Can I seek clarification on that? Thank you very much.
MADAM PRESIDENT: May I please appeal to hon. senators. Do not lecture before you pose your question please. Pose your question and then the Minister will be able to justify his answer or give you an answer that satisfies you. When you lecture first, something is lost in there. Please pose policy questions.
SENATOR MAKORE: I would want to seek clarification from the hon. Minister regarding the Seventh Parliament allowances. Thank you.
THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): Thank you very much Madam President and thank you very much Senator Makore. Initially, when you said the rainy season was coming, I thought you were talking about agriculture. Now I realise it is about monies for the last Parliament. The Clerk of Parliament has written several communications, both to me as the Minister responsible for Parliament, as well as to the Minister of Finance and Economic Development requesting that funds be made available to acquit the allowances owed to senators and members of the National Assembly of the Seventh Parliament. This includes some arrears which have accrued, both in terms of allowances and coupons in relation to the Eighth Parliament. That, I can assure you is a very live issue with myself, the Clerk of Parliament, the President of the Senate and the Speaker on one side. On the other side of the table, there is Mr. Chinamasa. So, be very clear that we are on one side on this issue. So we will do our best to make sure we will continue putting pressure for you to have those funds. I thank you.