Legislators demand salary hike

HARARE - Zimbabwean legislators, considered by many citizens as greedy, are demanding hefty salary packages, similar to those being earned by heads of parastatals.

Shadreck Mashayamombe, Zanu PF MP for Harare South, tabled the demand in Parliament on Thursday when he was debating a motion on corruption.

He said low salaries have exposed MPs to bribes and kickbacks from crafty people in their constituencies.

The legislator said in the event that MPs do not get a pay hike, they were bound to dabble in corrupt activities, hence the only option was for Treasury to pay them handsomely.

“When we talk of corruption, we have to look at the environment which isconducive for corruption,” Mashayamombe said.

“If we look at our salaries, we find that some people are earning $310 000 per month and an MP earns $800. This is an anomaly that has to be rectified.

“We need some form of allowances so that we are not caught in this corruption scandal because when you go to a constituency without anything to offer, there is bound to be some corruption.”

Legislators often argue that they need high salaries to give hand-outs to poor constituents for school fees and hospital bills.

“If you look at our salaries as MPs, it’s pathetic,” Mashayamombe said. “I was touched when I heard MDC MPs saying they want more money. “I am of the view that it is not only the MDC MPs who want more money, but MPs from all parties.”

In a February 6, 2014 letter to Jacob Mudenda, speaker of the National Assembly, jointly signed by MDC vice president and leader of the opposition in Parliament Thokozani Khupe, and MDC chief whip Innocent Gonese, the MDC MPs demanded the tripling of their sitting allowance from $75 to $200, executive vehicles, toll gate exemptions, weekly fuel coupons worth 100 litres, and accommodation allowances.

The MDC MPs also want vehicles similar to those allocated to deputy ministers, such as the Land Rover Discovery or Jeep Cherokee, with the option to buy them at book value at the end of their terms.

Mashayamombe said failure to adequately capacitate MPs puts them at risk of corruption.

“As MPs, how can we perform our duties efficiently when we are not given fuel coupons to travel to our constituencies to carry out our duties?” Mashayamombe asked.

“There is  something which  is wrong when we are not performing our duties in our areas.

“What this means is, MPs  will be bribed by people who will come and offer to give them something  especially fuel coupons, to travel in the constituency,” the lawmaker said amid cheers from other MPs. The pay for members of Zimbabwe’s parliament, while appallingly low, contrasts dramatically with the incomes of most people in the southern African region where nearly 80 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

When newly re-elected President Robert Mugabe opened parliament, he told legislators that the bill for government salaries came to 75 percent of revenue, above the internationally accepted levels of 30 percent.

The demand for an increase in salaries for members of parliament is likely to spark outrage given the dire state of government finances and that the average Zimbabwean earns about $300 a month.

Comments (4)

Might it help the honorable member to draw a distinction between para bosses and themselves. The former are emloyees while MPs are volunteers. In any case the payment to para bosses is being investigated as we speak!

gutter poet - 9 March 2014

tangai masevenza first and then produce good results mozotaura salary hike not now econony haiisi mushe kumunhu wese

cde chaperachapera - 10 March 2014

I do not understand why someone would want a hike in 'allowances' when they know fully well that Zimbabwe can not afford to pay them what they are already getting. I totally agree with Cde Chaperachapera who says that we need to work first then ask for increaments. I even know that i can not go to my boss for an increament when i have not worked, yet alone when the company is not performing well. Lets see you ridding the economy of corruption first and then, we the people, your employers, will consider a salary hike. Lets see you craft pro- business or development policies and create an enabling environment for business, and then we can talk. In any case, if you say that you will fall pray to those members in the constituency who will bribe them, then it really means we made a wrong choice. Integrity is what we are looking for. And like what Gutter Poet said, this is a volunteer post, you asked us to vote for you on the basis that you have solutions to the problems we were facing not bother us with more problems or better still, have us pay for your upkeep.

Seeing is believing - Ashamed - 10 March 2014

Surely we can not go anywhere if every body is demanding a heavy salary before production and sales. Some these guys are money mongers because they talk about money first before results. particularly ,harare south Shadreck Mashayamombe is one of top culprits coz he's doing nothing except coning peoples funds and exercise voidable contracts.Arikutobatana nevanhu vezapu neveemdc kuti macivil servants nefew vana vemusangano vakapiwa purazi nava Mugabe kuti vavake dzimba. Ivo kwakutoti yaingove campain tool chete land ndeya Ziko wepachtown saka they are now on sale failure that ibvaipo kutita here ikoko

peterndawana - 28 April 2014

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