Zimbabwe legislators yesterday complained that they were being chased away from one hotel to another because of non-payment for their accommodation.
Opposition legislator David Tekeshe said if Parliament could not accommodate them it should give them money so that they can secure their own accommodation.
Independent legislator Temba Mliswa, however, said Tekeshe should not complain because he was a member of the Standing Rules committees which should ensure that legislators are catered for.
Here is what transpired:
HON. TESESHE: Thank you Madam Speaker. My point of privilege arises on the issue of accommodation for Members of Parliament. We have been receiving calls from Members of Parliament who are being chased away from hotels – we are now sick and tired of this. As Hon. Members, it is embarrassing for one to be turned away from one hotel to the next. May there be an arrangement where people can be given sufficient funds to ensure that people are able to look after themselves? In Uganda, Members are not provided accommodation but they are given sufficient funds for them to look for their own accommodation.
If Parliament cannot provide us with accommodation, we must be given funds to look for accommodation. It is embarrassing moving from one hotel to the other as Members of Parliament. For the four years I have been a Member of Parliament, this has been the most embarrassing year for me for failing to secure accommodation. In Uganda, they are allocated 10 000 for accommodation and fuel and they are given their salaries so that they take care of themselves. I thank you.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. Tekeshe, we have heard what you have said, it is demeaning indeed for an Hon. Member of Parliament to be turned away from a hotel where they will be expecting to get accommodation and where they are supposed to be respected as Hon. Members, and moving from one hotel to the other does not give them a good image. I have taken note of that.
HON. T. MLISWA: On a point of order Madam Speaker.
THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: What is your point of order?
HON. T. MLISWA: Madam Speaker, I want to remind Hon. Tekeshe that he is one of the Hon. Members who sits in the Standing Rules and Orders Committee where the welfare of Members of Parliament is discussed. I am a bit disturbed that he is bringing this issue up, we have brought these issues several times, and they are the ones who represent us; we have given up and we have lost hope. You are part of it, the Speaker chairs it, the Government Chief Whip is here and the Minister of Finance is not to be blamed because you have never reported back to us that in your deliberations as the Standing Orders Committee, you are failing to do this because of the Minister of Finance. Leave the Minister out. You must negotiate for us, we are struggling because of you, let us not find a scapegoat. The Hon. Speaker chairs this Committee, we would like to know the state of our welfare. We discussed these issues with the Minister of Finance the last time, I was there and we brought issues that Members of Parliament would rather have money to pay for their mortgages and those who want to stay in hotels must stay in hotels. That decision was brought before you and you never took it up. I do not know where the Minister of Finance comes in, we are just not well represented, that is the truth of the matter. Hon. Tekeshe, with that venom, deal with those issues kudare guru ramunogara, you think makagara mushe saka hamuna basa nesu. That is the truth of the matter, we are tired over these issues.
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