A Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front Member of Parliament from Harare says legislators from the capital, dominated by the Movement for Democratic Change, should be given allowances, such as U$60, to use their homes because those from outside are accommodated in hotels.
Harare South MP, Shadreck Mashayamombe said: “We need to have some form of allocation of allowances so that we are not caught in this corrupt scandal because when you go to your constituency and you have nothing to offer, there is bound to be some corruption. Corruption should be approached in a broad sense because we have lots of things which may lead to corruption.”
In his contribution to the corruption debate, Mashayamombe said though media reports had said MDC legislators had demanded higher salaries, it was not only them who wanted more money.
“..I was touched when I heard that members of the MDC said they wanted more money, but my view is that it is not only the MDC MPs who want more money, but all members of parties, in Parliament want more money because we find that a civilian is earning US$310 000 per month and a Member of Parliament is earning US$800 per month. There is some anomaly which has to be rectified.
“When we look at allowances for Members of Parliament in Harare; some of us are living in hotels and yet some of us who stay in Harare have not been allocated any allowance such as US$60, so that we can use in our homes. That also has to be looked into,” he said.
Mashayamombe also said it was ridiculous that in some cases a parastatal employee earned thousands of dollars but his supervisor, a ministry employee earned only US$400.
*MR. MASHAYAMOMBE: Thank you Mr. Speaker for affording me this opportunity to make my contribution. I would like to make additions to this motion regarding corruption which is rampant in the country. Let us start by looking at the appointment of board members in parastatals. You find that a director in a particular Ministry who is failing to operate effectively in that Ministry is appointed to the position of a board member in that particular parastatal. How can such a member perform in a board when he is failing to perform in a parastatal?
My suggestion is that when appointing people to the boards, we should consider a lot of intelligent people that we have in Zimbabwe. We have some people who are less committed, who can be appointed into these boards instead of appointing somebody who is already a director and you appoint him into that board. What happens is that, that director will be appointed to be board member in that particular Ministry and as a result, corruption is brought forth from the parastatal to the board.
Therefore, we encourage that when appointing board members they should be carefully vetted. One person should not be in more than one board so that people can share the responsibilities of developing the country.
Mr. Speaker, you find somebody will be putting on 15 different shirts because of the number of the boards he represents. We also find that in parastatals as an example, I will take GMB which is under the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development. The Chief Executive Officer of that GMB will be earning US$100 000 per month.
The supervisor of that parastatal who is in Government will be earning US$400. This is an anomaly which should be rectified because salary scales need to be fine tuned so that you will have US$6 000 as the maximum salary to be given. This should be enforced so that we do not lose so much money because the problem we have at the moment is that the parastatals will be getting lots of monies from the State coffers instead of using that money in development, it will be used as salaries for parastatals’ Chief Executives.
Still on corruption, let me now look at the Police. Looking at the Police regarding spot fines, these two issues are the creators of corruption because as soon as the policeman stops a car, he is the one who sees the faults on a car and also determines the amount to be paid when raising a ticket. What we should do is, people should be given tickets and pay at a later date.
Mr. Speaker, I am also cognisant of the fact that when the policemen collect these fines, they do not surrender the fines to Treasury but they keep the money to themselves. Therefore, you find the current situation is that this is a fundraising policy whereby each policeman who goes to a roadblock is given a task and a target and they have to meet the target.
Mr. Speaker, we encourage that if somebody is given a ticket, this should be paid at a police station. That money should be surrendered to the Treasury because the current obtaining situation is that each policeman has got a ticket book which will be paid through that corrupt method. We know that some few days ago, a certain amount of money was found hidden by these people because they wanted to share at the end of duty.
Mr. Speaker, I emphasise – monies collected from the roadblocks should be surrendered to the fiscus. They create unnecessary offences so that fines can be paid when the fine is too high; you opt for bribery.
When we look at corruption, we are only looking at obscene salaries. There are a lot of things which are happening in this country and people end up thinking that when these people are getting wealth, there is something going on. For instance, you find somebody comes up one day and claims that all the lands which are not being utilised are mine.
We have to investigate. How can we have one person owning all the land in and around Harare? We have to check, how did somebody get the title deeds in 2011? How did he manage to buy that land when the land was already occupied by other people? It means this land was obtained through corrupt means. This needs to be investigated by the committee which is going to be set up and if we do that and apply it properly, people will have confidence in us as Parliamentarians.
Looking at the current scenario, some people do not even have a single stand and yet somebody owns all the vacant land and farms in Harare. Still on corruption, let us look at the Government. It is quite difficult and I will give an example on the construction of roads. Here in Zimbabwe, we know that the busiest road is Beitbridge – Chirundu road.
This road is not being given preference on maintenance yet it is the busiest road. Surely, for a certain official in the Ministry who is sitting there and failing to allocate funds for the repair of this road yet so many people have died because of the accidents which happened, there is something wrong. These things should be investigated and monies properly allocated.
I will now turn to mining. You find that the civil servants working in the mines – if you make an application that you need to do mining somewhere, as soon as you make an application for mineral rights in a certain piece of land, those corrupt officers will take your application and show the applications to their friends so that they takeover your plans.
In the land allocation, you find that there are some people who own four to six farms and they are not fully utilising these farms but acquire them through bribery. When that land is allocated to somebody, you find that someone will come and tell you that I own that piece of land where you have been allocated, so, please move out. We should fully utilise the resources of the country. This person is a director in a certain Ministry and is the owner of a certain hotel. You ask yourself where this director got the money from to buy this hotel or to invest in this project.
We have to investigate. We move on with the issues of corruption. My last contribution is that we have something happening even here in the Parliament of Zimbabwe. As Members of Parliament, how can we perform our duties efficiently when we are not given fuel coupons so that we can travel up and down carrying out our duties? It means that there is something which is wrong. We are not performing properly and what this means is that Members of Parliament will be bribed by someone who will come and offer to give them something, especially fuel for travelling.
Therefore, when we talk of corruption, we have to look at the environment which is conducive to corruption. If you look at the salaries of MPs, I was touched when I heard that members of the MDC said they wanted more money, but my view is that it is not only the MDC MPs who want more money, but all members of parties, in Parliament want more money because we find that a civilian is earning US$310 000 per month and a Member of Parliament is earning US$800 per month. There is some anomaly which has to be rectified.
When we look at allowances for Members of Parliament in Harare; some of us are living in hotels and yet some of us who stay in Harare have not been allocated any allowance such as US$60, so that we can use in our homes. That also has to be looked into. We need to have some form of allocation of allowances so that we are not caught in this corrupt scandal because when you go to your constituency and you have nothing to offer, there is bound to be some corruption. Corruption should be approached in a broad sense because we have lots of things which may lead to corruption. I thank you for giving me this opportunity to make my contribution.