By Nyasha Ngonidzashe Mukapiko
Do we buy this? Survive?
Some Members of Parliament are leaving the August House before sitting is over supposedly because they’re going out to look for money to make sure that they survive. It’s not enough to sit in Parliament for four days to end up with nothing at home in this economy.
Engineer Elias Mudzuri, legislator for Warren Park constituency revealed this last week Thursday whilst following up on a motion that had been moved by Hon. Prince Sibanda of Binga North constituency concerning the issue of fuel allowances.
“While Government is trying to find finances to sponsor whatever they are sponsoring, Members of Parliament are having problems in getting allowances. They do not get allowances and fuel. It is difficult for them to do their duties, taking into consideration that in other countries, a Member of Parliament has got an office, which is properly manned and there is proper research for a member to be able to debate and come up with informed information.” Mudzuri said.
Mudzuri added that MPs were not being properly financed, which was then causing ineffectiveness in discharging their duties in areas of jurisdiction.
In his response the Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda who had misunderstood Mudzuri said the Warren Park legislator’s point of order lacked seriousness saying it was supposed to have been raised during budget consultations.
Mudzuri then corrected the Speaker by saying, “If a Member of Parliament comes from Victoria Falls, he travels here to do work. He does not get fuel; it is not about the budget. It is about their travelling here and just surviving. There is no maintenance of the vehicle, it is purely fuel. It is the running of the portfolio of a Member of Parliament for him to be efficient, visit his constituency and to talk to the people”.
The Warren Park legislator highlighted that because the community wasn’t aware that sometimes they were being deprived their allowances it was going to cause misunderstanding as they do not understand that Members of Parliament were not given enough resources to run those constituencies.
Hon Mudenda then responded saying the failure to pay allowances was because they had inherited a 6 million USD debt from the seventh Parliament but the problems had already been rectified.
Mudzuri further went on to say parliamentarians were owed allowances for more than two years.
Checking with other law makers last Friday they confirmed to have received their fuel allowances.
Legislator for Mutasa central constituency Trevor Saruvaka said they were supposed to get fuel allowances each time they attend Parliament to cover travel expenses, however he added sometimes they ended losing track of the arrears due to erratic supplies from the financially-hamstrung treasury.