MPs press for pay hike

HARARE - In an unprecedented move, both Zanu PF and MDC MPs are demanding another bumper pay rise at a time the economy is teetering on the brink of collapse, the Daily News can reveal.

The revelation will spark renewed uproar, as the rest of the austerity-hit nation continues to endure flat wages.

The MPs have tabled a motion in Parliament demanding a hike in the basic wage of all members to a new high.

The MPs agreed the figure in a meeting two weeks ago but refuse to publicly confirm it.

The MPs demanded improved conditions of service arguing they are being treated as second fiddle to the judiciary and executive arms of government.

While the perennial rivals have constantly failed to find common ground, money has somehow found a way to bring the old-age enemies together.

“We share the same sentiments,” Zanu PF parliamentary chief whip Lovemore Matuke told the Daily News yesterday.

“Ministers get a free vehicle from Parliament and two more from the ministry. Many people think MPs get free vehicles, they don’t.

“The vehicles you see them driving, they buy them, Parliament just facilitates.  And these vehicles are meant to service constituencies.

“Not that MPs want to cause commotion but (we are) just raising alarm ‘why don’t you treat us like our brothers?’”

Pressed on how much “increase” the Members of Parliament were demanding, the Gutu Central MP kept his cards close to his chest, simply saying MPs “want uniformity”.

The lawmakers are also irritated that promises made to establish a properly regulated Constituency Development Fund (CDF) have not been honoured.

The CDF was last operational during the inclusive government when the then Finance minister Tendai Biti allocated $50 000 to each MP to finance development projects in their constituencies.

There were reports that some of the MPs mismanaged the funds.

The current crop of MPs has also raised alarm over outstanding allowances and fuel.

Their demands come as civil servants are struggling to make ends meet, put food on their table and send their children to school owing to meagre salaries whose pay dates are constantly changed.

MPs, who are believed to take home a monthly salary in the region of $2 500, said it is common knowledge that the national coffers were empty, but said the lawmakers have a right to table the demands.

“Every employee should be paid his dues but the point is, as much as we need the money, we also look at the problems at the nation,” Matuke said.

MDC parliamentary chief whip Innocent Gonese said opposition legislators were not happy with the way they were being treated. He said the Constitution requires that government ensures that adequate funds are provided to Parliament to enable it to carry out its duties.

“Obviously, as Members of Parliament, we have misgivings about the disparities existing between the three arms of government,” Gonese said.

“It’s not only monetary but it’s about being able to carry out our duties effectively.  We feel they should be a balance so that when Members of Parliament go back to their constituencies, they can perform better.”

The MDC secretary for legal and parliamentary affairs said money owed to MPs was hefty.

“Some of the figures we don’t even know because there has been weeks without getting fuel. But we will continue doing our work. We were elected to represent the people,” he said.

The welfare of MPS, which has been topical since taking centre stage in one of the plenary sessions in the National Assembly earlier this month, has been met with mixed reactions from analysts and critics alike.

Comments (8)

"Ministers get a free vehicle from Parliament and two more from the ministry".... What is the logic of giving Minister 3 vehicles, really? Yet we cant pay workers for months. Can't they do with just one? This country is a big joke.

XG - 23 March 2016

Paita mari ndosaka vawirirana. Anyway vamwe vacho vanoziva kuti come 2018 havadzokiko kuparamende saka vavakuda kugadzira matendere avo nguva ichiripo.

Makaro - 23 March 2016

Thieves, the lot of them. They pretend to represent people and yet all they see is a meal ticket. They are already better paid than the vast majority of the people in the land and to ask for a pay hike in such economic climate is just bonkers.

Galore 123 - 23 March 2016

Our country is very small, We don't need such large M.Ps numbers. Just below 100 will just be fine for a start. Parliament is too bloated. Majority of these MPs just sing and dance.

X-MAN IV - 23 March 2016

These old men must give university students loans. How do they expect students to survive. Selfish old bastards. What are MPs doing in parliament to deserve cars??

P.Jambanja - 23 March 2016

It is unfortunate that in Zimbabwe the electorate does not really know the purpose of MPs. That they are LAW MARKERS / LEGISLATORS. Had they really known that, a BIG number of MPs would not be in parliament today. Go to Kenya for example, a lot of their MPs are lawyers and educated individuals who are able to understand and engage in lively debates on issues which eventually culminate in the framing of laws. Look at our law markers? It is both a shame and indeed unfortunate that the electorate has not been taught right. With the Zimbabwean literacy rate levels sky rocketing every year, it is high time we amend our constitution to the effect that ONLY THOSE WITH THE SECOND DEGREE OR BETTER can qualify to be voted for the position of MP. KWETE HOPE NENGONONO DZATIRI KUONA MU PARIYAMENDE YE ZIMBABWE. ZVIMWE ZVINHU ZVINO NYADZISA VEDUWEE.

Icho - 24 March 2016

I also agree with X-Man VI, our country is too too small to have all these MPs, let alone the Senate. Veduwee, vanhu ava varikumboita BASA REYIKO asi kungopedza TAX PAYER'S MONEY CHETE. Even the number of Ministers and their deputies, ahh, zvino shamisa zvokwadi MUKANYIKA KATOKOTOKO KAKADAYI. I GUESS KUMBOPANA MUKANA WOKUDYA MARI KA UKU? ASI KUURAYA NYIKA KA UKU NHAYI KULE. Inga paye makamboti we do not need a big cabinet, we do not need the Senate and mukateerera muka cutter ma ministries. KO MAVA KURASIKA PAPI NHAYI GUSHUNGO NE AVO VAKAKUKOMBAYI?

Icho - 24 March 2016

MPs must remember they are first and foremost servants of the people; of poor, struggling and suffering people.

Abri - 26 March 2016

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