Zimbabwe’s legislators are selling fuel coupons ostensibly to make ends meet, independent Member of Parliament Temba Mliswa told the House this week.
Ironically he also said the legislators were not getting enough fuel coupons.
Zimbabwe is currently experiencing a serious shortage of fuel and some service stations are now selling it in hard currency, either in United States dollars or South African rands.
Speaking during the debate on the budget allocation for Parliament, which the legislators argued was not enough, Mliswa said MPs should be given enough coupons because they were people with integrity and dignity.
“I want to talk about the issue of fuel coupons given to Members. Already, Parliament has actually cut down what Members are supposed to get. What we used to get in the Eighth Parliament is not what we get now,” he said.
“So, now you are saying to yourself, even the coupons that we got in the Eighth Parliament were not enough. Members of Parliament are people with integrity and dignity. Trust them and give them a whole book and let them have a book and not be scrounging around for coupons. We queue up like little children for coupons which are not even enough.
“So, when are we going to have integrity and dignity left for the Members of Parliament? Members of Parliament, because their welfare is not enough end up selling fuel coupons. We are known for selling fuel coupons.
“Whenever it is a Thursday, all the service stations know that Members of Parliament are coming to sell fuel coupons because of the welfare that we have. It is a situation which is unattainable and a situation which cannot be allowed to happen. The role of Parliamentarians cannot be underestimated.”
Parliament was arguing that its budget be increased from $101 million to $163 million which it requested.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube settled for $143 million.
Ironically, Ncube did not address the issue of selling coupons during the debate.
The question though is, are they selling coupons because of need or greed?
Click here for full debate.