By Farayi Machamire
Government has offered MPs and senators residential stands in lieu of their outstanding allowances.
Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere (pictured) confirmed the deal in Senate on Thursday, saying the ruling Zanu PF and opposition MDC chief whips had already been advised.
This comes as a similar offer has been roundly rejected by civil servants, who were given three options in lieu of their 2016 bonuses.
“We are aware that some of our Senators and members of the National Assembly are owed money and it is in that context that when we discussed with (Finance) minister (Patrick) Chinamasa and two chief whips from the two political formations, we agreed that there could be a process of netting off what MPs are owed by government,” Kasukuwere said.
“In turn, the Finance ministry will make available that financial support for us so that at least we can service the land,” he said, adding that “the land that has been identified . . . is along Enterprise Road, on your way to Shamva and Mutoko, what is outstanding is for us to service it”.
Kasukuwere said government is “already in the process of raising funding alongside with the civil service housing scheme so that we accommodate our senators and members of the National Assembly”.
“Every one of us would love to have a property in Harare but it is also very expensive for my ministry on its own without the sufficient financial support to get it started,” he said.
“However, we are in contact and discussions with the Finance ministry, which has assured us that we will get the relevant support to service the land.”
Under the rejected residential stands offer, government offered to settle the restive civil servants’ overdue bonuses through giving them land or a cash stipend coupled with non-monetary benefits or property investment bonds.
However, teachers unions, including the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (Artuz), spurned the offer, saying land cannot be used as a bonus payment. Daily News