LEGISLATORS from across the political divide yesterday piled pressure on Treasury to release their outstanding allowances before the Parliament is dissolved.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Chairperson of the MPs’ welfare committee Prosper Mutseyami (Musikavanhu MP) raised the issue as soon as the House resumed sitting yesterday. He demanded that legislators should also be given lease agreements for the residential stands they were offered as part of their packages.
“This Parliament owes us money and outstanding allowances for a long time, and right now some sitting MPs did not manage to sail through primary elections and it is clear that they will not be coming back in the ninth Parliament,” Mutseyami said.
“My appeal is that MPs be given their outstanding allowances before they leave, and the other thing is that we were issued with offer letters for stands and our request is to be given lease agreements with a list of the stand numbers and square metres and all the conditions we agreed on.”
Acting Speaker of the National Assembly, Rueben Marumahoko told the legislators that Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa was aware of the issue and has promised to pay them.
Later, when Zanu PF chief whip, Lovemore Matuke presented a report from the Liaison and Coordination Committee, which is made up of chairpersons of portfolio committees, MPs brought back the issue of their welfare.
Binga North MP Prince Dubeko Sibanda lambasted the liaison and co-ordination committee, saying they used to bargain for their own welfare at the expense of other legislators’ needs.
“We are aware that the chairpersons advocated for extra vehicles and more fuel allowances for themselves and not for other MPs. We are also aware that the chairpersons of committees received diplomatic passports while other MPs were not given,” he said.
Sibanda said in January Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda said he would walk away with a golden handshake even after serving for one term and yet MPs that served for two terms were not considered.
“We have colleagues that died after serving for one term and their families were left with nothing” he said.
Sibanda also claimed Parliament’s senior staffers earned more than the MPs.