By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Politics |
Members of Parliament are still demanding that the National Assembly build them offices in their respective constituencies.
On Tuesday, the matter was brought to light by MDC-T legislator David Tekeshe who reminded the speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda that three years had gone by while the promise to build constituency offices for parliamentarians had not been fulfilled.
“My point of privilege is on the promise which Parliament promised us. In 2018, we were promised constituency offices which were to be manned by degreed people and everybody clapped hands in here. Now, three years down the line, zero.
“Mr. Speaker, in rural constituencies it is very difficult to operate with no place to be found. Some stay very far and for that person to travel from that far to come to my home, is difficult,” he said.
Tekeshe said even if the offices are not manned by degreed people the legislators would put their own people.
“We will put in our own people so that when I am here and someone visits my office, he will speak to whoever is there, then when I am back to the constituency, I will attend to that. I know you as an urgent person Mr. Speaker but I do not know why on this one,” he added.
In his response, the Speaker said he had a meeting over the issue with the Clerk of Parliament and they agreed the funds were low. He however, said Parliament would engage the private sector to lobby them to build offices for legislators.
“I do not know why you want to slaughter the Hon. Speaker in this august House, when his offices are quite open for discussions, and the office of the Clerk as well. What has happened is the fiscal space created mbira dzakondo, which we are trying to untie.
“Only last week, I was discussing with the Clerk of Parliament to say even if we do not have sufficient funds, let us start with prototype offices for constituencies, at least one office in each province,” he said.
“I like the idea of approaching local authorities, but we have gone further to also approach the private sector, they might have some buildings which they can make available to Members of Parliament for use as constituency offices.” Nehanda Radio