By Mugove Tafirenyika
Parliament will not discriminate between Members of Parliament who hold positions in the august House and those who do not, in the allocation of resources meant for their car scheme.
Responding to reports that legislators will be given their vehicles in accordance with a grading system that favours those with positions, Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda said this was not the case.
He told the Daily News that the only difference in the remuneration of lawmakers is that those who hold positions of responsibility are paid a responsibility allowance.
“…otherwise there is no grading system; they are all treated the same and when the vehicles come in the fullness of time like the minister of Finance (Mthuli Ncube) said, they will be allocated without prejudice,” said Chokuda.
MPs in the ninth Parliament are still to receive their vehicles due to budgetary constraints.
In fact, Zanu PF MPs have agreed to forego their vehicles for now so that the money could be directed towards more pressing needs.
The MDC is, however, still to make its position clear on the matter.
Legislators who spoke to the Daily News yesterday claimed that Parliament’s welfare committee has agreed that when Treasury eventually releases funds for the ninth Parliament, a grading system would be used to favour those lawmakers who head committees, including chief whips.
They said the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda and her deputy Tsitsi Gezi as well as Senate president Mable Chinomona and her deputy Mike Nyambuya would be allocated between US$70 000 and US$80 000 each.
The MPs who spoke on condition of anonymity also claimed that portfolio committee chairpersons, members of the Standing Rules and Orders Committee as well as other departmental heads would be allocated between US$50 000 and
US$60 000 each for their vehicles while the rest of the MPs will get between US$35 000 and US$40 000.
But MDC chief whip Prosper Mutseyami described the MPs’ claims as malicious, saying it was a product of social media.
“I have seen such allegations on social media but the truth is that all MPs are equal and nobody will be graded in terms of vehicle allocation…those MPs who are suggesting that are actually being, malicious,” Mutseyami, who is a member of the welfare committee, said.
MPs, the same sources said, are livid that the committee for their welfare is allegedly pushing for a grading system in the allocation of vehicles.
“They (committee chairpersons) are arguing that they also want the vehicle allocation system to recognise their extra roles and because they also lead the committees, they want to arm-twist it along those lines but it is not fair because we were all elected by the people.
“They only got those positions from here (Parliament) but now they want it to appear as if they were elected by the people hence they now want their vehicles to be different. We will raise it in the House if they choose to do it that way,” one of the legislators said. Daily News.