MPs threaten to sink 2018 budget

By Blessings Mashaya

Legislators across the political divide have threatened the sink the 2018 National budget if they don’t get a five-fold increase in their allowances.

President Robert Mugabe opening second session of the 8th Parliament (Picture by NewsDay)
President Robert Mugabe opening second session of the 8th Parliament (Picture by NewsDay)

They said they will hold assent to the two Money Bills that be tabled by Finance minister Ignatius Chombo until their sitting allowance allocation has been increased from the present $16m to $100m.

After a budget has been presented to the National Assembly, two money Bills have to be passed by Parliament: an Appropriation Bill, which gives legal force to the estimates of expenditure and a Finance Billl — which makes legal provision for changes in collection of revenue such as taxes, custom duties under this year’s national budget.

“We want to have a budget of nothing less than $100 million for Parliament,” Chegutu West Zanu PF MP Dexter Nduna said in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

“If we do not get that money, it is my thinking and a lot of other members’ thinking that let us not pass the budget, and chances are we might get dissolved. If we get dissolved it is just before Parliamentary elections anyway.”

Parliament can be dissolved if the National Assembly “unreasonably” refuses to pass an Appropriation Bill (a budget bill).

This comes as President Robert Mugabe is reportedly mulling a move to exploit a lacuna in the law to proclaim an early general election next year.

MDC MP for Nkayi South Abednico Bhebhe said Parliament must demand the allowances ramp up from Chombo.

“If the budget of Zimbabwe for instance is $5 billion, if we are saying Parliament should get 15 percent of $5 billion, let that budget come in and be passed in Parliament in conformity that we are getting our percentage that we are going to run ourselves as Parliament.

“We are not children that you want to lie to us that because you want us to pass a budget you want to say okay, come end of October, you are going to get your allowance.” Daily News