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MPs earning US$100, can’t travel to constituencies, garages turn them away

Members of Parliament on Thursday registered their incapacitation to travel to their respective constituencies due to poor allowances and salaries they are getting.

Southerton MP Peter Moyo (MDC Alliance) told Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube that legislators were earning only US$100 per month and they were no longer able to carry out their duties.

He also complained over the issue of accommodation in which authorities are accused of failing to pay hotel bills for the MPs resulting in many of them being left stranded.

“I should start by looking at the welfare of Hon. Members. Members of Parliament are earning US$100 per month,” he said.

“We are now a laughing stock. I suggest that for the remaining six months, you should allocate Z$1 million to each Member of Parliament so that we carry out our duties well because if you do not give us this money, some Hon Members are going to fail to come back to Parliament.

“Some Hon. Members from Zanu-PF have mines and now they are using that money from the mines to carry out their duties in their constituencies. Some are campaigning using their own monies so that they come back to Parliament.”

Zanu-PF Rushinga MP Tendai Nyabani said MPs had also parked their vehicles for failing to service them.

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“I would like to talk about the issue of jobs. If a person is sent to work, he needs a good working environment. May the Minister kindly take note of our working environment? We have people buying coupons outside Parliament.

“A lot of us parked our cars because we cannot afford to service them. Therefore, the funds you are allocating to us are not enough to fund our needs,” Nyabani said.

“Funds are not enough but if you send us away empty handed, we go back empty handed. We travel various trips with Parliament staff and we come back at midnight. Parliament staff travel late going back to their homes.

“What if you allocate them funds so that they buy cars so that they can move from point A to point B easily? We have a lot of constituency responsibilities. We cannot travel to constituencies because we are incapacitated. May you please help us because we are struggling with fuel and accommodation?”

MDC Alliance MP David Tekeshe said garages were turning their vehicles away claiming that the Parliament was not paying.

“The manner in which it is dealt with financially is actually different from others. I do not have a Parliament vehicle because garages are refusing to entertain us. I went to Premier Garage, they said Parliament does not pay. Allow Parliament dear Minister to be funded.

“Members of Parliament are travelling in numbers of four or five. It is actually embarrassing. They are giving each other transportation from their constituencies. Even if you get in the car park, right here at Parliament building, you will hear that some of the cars are no longer in good condition but they were bought this year. Service for our vehicles is eating into our budget and we are left with nothing. It was better if you could get service for our cars,” he said.

Ncube promised to look into the welfare of the MPs and improve their salaries and benefits.

“I will come back to deal with this vote once we have made the proposal. We intend to increase the envelope, so we will see where to vary from, maybe the unallocated reserves, maybe from other areas but I will come back to the House on that,” he said.