Zimbabwe legislators being chased by hotels for non-payment of bills


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You have a better welfare, you have better cars and we do not get what we want. You are upgraded in terms of the cars you have, we have asked for a joint Caucus with the Government Chief Whip for our welfare and nobody listened to us.  So may God bless you, may the ancestors of this country bless you for not looking after those whom you must look after, I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you Hon. T. Mliswa, your concerns have been noted. Please do not lose hope.

HON. CHINOTIMBA: Thank you Madam Speaker.  This issue that is being discussed is a good one; if we take the South African example, you will observe that Government has built houses that are utilised by all Members of Parliament.  In South Africa, Parliament is in Cape Town and the Government buildings are in Pretoria.  Whenever they go to Parliament they go to Cape Town.  Upon arrival they have houses where they live, they do not use hotels, they have apartments, the houses do not belong to individual members but they are allocated to members for use during their term.  Namibia and Botswana is the same; instead of Hon. Members standing up daily raising points of order and saying they are not being looked after and being chased away from hotels; why not take the example of other countries?  They do not live in the same place for security reasons.  They are in different places for security reasons so that when there is an emergency, all Members of Parliament are not dead.

Let us learn the good that other Parliaments are doing.  South Africa has accepted homosexuality and we cannot accept it but we take the good practices that they do.  The issue of the welfare of their Members of Parliament, we would want our Members of Parliament to have houses constructed and this will save us money, they are given money for their upkeep. The other option is to give them money so that they meet their own expenses. The hotels are very expensive; Members consume meals that are more than their salaries.  It is painful that for the four days that members live in a hotel the expenses are not even equivalent to their salaries.  Members of Parliament must be given the money in the form of salaries.  It is an easy issue, we are almost at the end of our term, we should get to a stage that those who are coming back will have houses constructed for them and the Minister of Finance will not have any headaches because each and every Member will have their own apartment.  This is what is happening in South Africa.

The houses that they have, some would not even want to get out of these houses and they will refuse to vacate because the houses are state of the arts apartments that are being constructed for Members of Parliament and they belong to Government.  The same applies to the Ministers; not a single Minister lives in his or her own house during the term of Parliament.  This is done so that Ministers can enjoy the same standard of living.  I am happy that the Minister of Finance is here.  I thank you.

THE HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER:  Thank you Hon. Chinotimba.  Your concerns have been taken note of.  It is the same argument that has been put forward by several other Members.  The august House is going to look into this issue to see how best the plight of Members of Parliament can be improved in terms of accommodation.

HON. BITI: On a point of order Madam Speaker. Can the esteemed Minister of Finance who is listening present a paper to the House on those welfare issues?  Thank you.

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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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