By Daniel Chigundu
Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni says legislators and councillors should stick to their mandates or risk getting broke by trying to finance social services in their constituencies.
Owing to economic hardships being experienced in the economy, most legislators and councillors in the country are generally expected by the electorate to help in such issues as paying school fees for the poor children and help at funerals among many others issues.
Last week, legislators disrupted Parliament sittings and a pre-budget briefing seminar demanding their outstanding allowances.
According to Mabvuku-Tafara and Mutasa South legislators James Maridadi and Irene Zindi respectively, MPs receive requests for assistance from the electorate on a daily basis and the sitting allowances go a long way in meeting those needs.
However, writing on his Facebook page, Councillor Manyenyeni said if proper oversight is exercised, MPs will not need to finance any social service programs in their constituencies and wards.
“The issue of remuneration of the elected must start by job clarity. Some of the tasks which MPs and Councillors do are as a result of the right things not being done – quite often under their watch.
“Then the fight for personal political survival is won by doing things which are strictly not in the original job description. Sticking to your mandate as an MP will ensure that government arms deliver that which you are now trying to finance as an individual.
“We have ministries responsible for all social services: as an MP you won’t need to donate crop inputs for the electorate, pay fees for their children, fix potholes using your own truck, organise medicines or transport and food at funerals. But this is now the standard measure of a legislator,” he said
The Harare Mayor said the elected need to be publicly and collectively protected from this mandate – provided they revert to the real job description.
Manyenyeni said the if proper oversight is exercised on the executive the elected do not require personal funds to take care of the electorate i.e. their political lives, adding that the MP model, in particular, must be restored to original settings.
“There is no way less than 300 people can financially take care of the needs of 13million people. There is no such, model – MPs must do their real job. Otherwise they will be broke and busy trying to personally finance state programs.
“As for their arrears they must be paid. But for an increase let us be guided by the numbers, independently done.
“Also how many legislators do we need to carry and at what cost with what results……….an important question?