Huge Parly burdens fiscus: Mudenda

HARARE – National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda has slammed an “elephant size” team of 350 legislators that he said was a burden to the fiscus.

It is the largest legislature since the southern African country attained independence from British colonial rule in 1980.

Legislators receive monthly salaries of $1 124 and $1 046 for allowances in addition to at least one car, free fuel and free utilities.

The government has spent over $15 million on luxury cars for the current bicameral Parliament.

“The numbers that we have now are huge and are a burden to the fiscus,” Mudenda told journalists during the Parliament Open Session.

Mudenda’s ruling Zanu PF defeated the opposition MDC in a 2013 election with vows to create 2 million jobs, restore fiscal stability, boost private sector growth, promote rural development and eliminate wasteful government spending.

This comes as Zimbabwe’s economy has stagnated while its budget deficit has exploded, amid unprecedented cash shortages and falling living standards.

Mudenda said legislators were squashed, and government was moving to build a multi-million-dollar new Parliament in Mt Hampden, which was expected to commence late last year, but is still to take off amid reports of funding problems that have seen government failing to provide access roads, water and electricity.

This is despite a $46 million pledge by the Chinese government to see through the project when presidents Robert Mugabe and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, signed mega business deals during reciprocal State visits between 2014 and 2015.

“The new (Parliament) building will be more spacious and answer our problem here of congestion, particularly in the National Assembly,” Mudenda said.

“The maximum accommodation for Members of Parliament there will be 650. Now, that is not to say we are going to canvas for more Members of Parliament.

“We are looking then in the next 50 years, 100 years when the population of the people of Zimbabwe has grown, then the Members of Parliament will find adequate space at the new Parliament building to avoid any future Parliament congestion.”

MPs often congest the National Assembly room, especially during special occasions such as the State of the Nation addresses, official openings and budget statement presentations where a good number of them have had to endure long periods standing.

Comments (4)

Its so simple reduce the number of MPs, there are all useless anyway. We also say NO to a new parly building its not urgent but rescucitation of the health services is.

Sinyo - 22 June 2017

Thanks for the voice of reason Mr Speaker Sir!!!! At least someone in Zanu PF has some brains and a bit of conscience to raise such a petinent issue publicly. Now please let us act on it. Zimbabwe does not need those many MPs for such a small population and economy.

MR COOPER - 22 June 2017

There is no vision. The kind of parliament we want 50 years from now is not one where people ore representatives gather in one building, but a people's parliament where cell unit groups of people debate and vote electronically. So Speaker Mudenda with the new building is preparing to hold us back rather than move us forward. Someone please tell him bluntly that he is deceiving noone with words that are at cross purposes with his actions.

ken girtz - 23 June 2017

Well said, Sonya!

Gogo - 23 June 2017

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