Avarice among MPs shocking

HARARE - Before even the dust from previous Parliaments’ demands for and misuse of Constituency Development Funds (CDF), there has been an outcry from current legislators — elected into the august House only on July 30 — over deferred vehicles, as reported by our sister paper the Daily News yesterday.

Traditionally, MPs are given brand new motor vehicles as soon as they are elected into Parliament. However, lately President Emmerson Mnangagwa — whose gospel of austerity has sadly not reached some of these — indicated that government will defer purchase of vehicles for new members of the National Assembly, instead channelling resources towards the fight against the deadly cholera — an affliction that had already killed 32 in Harare by the end of last week.

It is refreshing, however, that some support government’s position, reflecting an unusual sobriety in a country where politics has been turned into a source of livelihood. Whatever their motive, at least their stance shows they have the nation at heart.

Most people gun for political office for self-aggrandisement. It is possible some of the legislators who are clamouring for the new vehicles were actually voted into office by constituencies that are battling the deadly diarrheal disease.

Morally it does not sound right. The same desperation for cars they are showing was reflected over the CDF issue when proportional representation MPs demanded CDF money, which is allocated by government to legislators to develop their constituencies.

The proportional representative MPs, who have no constituencies, are chosen by parties for the purpose of gender equality in the National Assembly and came into being with the new Constitution that came into effect in 2013.

Their demands for CDF — just like the insensitivity shown by the current MPS — smacks of unbridled avarice and self-centredness as clearly, the legislators are not in Parly for the people.

This behaviour emanates from the fact that traditionally, MPs have always had it their way, with the electorate never holding them accountable during their terms of office.

Zimbabweans must no longer be taken for a ride. After voting people into Parliament, the elected officials immediately forget the needs of their constituencies — most of which are reeling under the weight of shortages of safe water and electricity, poor road networks and other communication infrastructure.

It is time constituents demand what is due to them in terms of accountability from the officials they vote into Parliament. The unbridled greed and selfishness being exhibited by some among the current crop of legislators is startling.


Comments (1)

It would help if the head of government would lead by example but alas his appetite is worse off than that of the MPs. He just recently upgraded his motorcade with 4x4s never seen anywhere else in the world hiding by the guise of 'beefing up' personal security. To date he has not lead by example by declaring his assets and liabilities so the fight against corruption can go on full-drive not a witch-hunt of perceived political enemies.

Sinyo - 24 September 2018

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