We’re living like paupers: MPs

Lloyd Gumbo Harare Bureau
PARLIAMENTARIANS say they are now living like paupers and have lost their dignity in the eyes of the public. They said while the Constitution provided that the three arms of the State – the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature – were equal, it was the legislature that was treated with disgust. MPs from across the political divide said it was high time they were treated with integrity and dignity.

The legislators were debating a report on Zimbabwe’s delegation to the consultations with the Pan African Parliament and other regional Parliaments on the provision of Constitutionalism and rule of law in Africa that was held in South Africa in November last year.

Zanu-PF MP for Buhera West, Cde Oliver Mandipaka, moved the motion urging Parliamentarians to play their role in playing an oversight role over the executive. However, MPs said they could not play an oversight role on the executive when they were not treated as equals with the other arms of the State.

Zanu-PF MP for Mutasa South, Cde Irene Zindi, said it was high time legislators rose above partisan politics and collectively discuss issues affecting them. “Why should we allow the Executive to peg our packages? The Executive that we’re talking about has got a package which is way above everybody else and which doesn’t commensurate with the salaries which they’re earning. So, in this instance, what picture are we sending to the members of public at the end of the day?” fumed Cde Zindi.

MDC-T MP for Mashonaland West, Consilia Chinanzvavana, said given their meagre earnings, MPs lived like paupers yet they were expected to meet their cconstituency’s needs.

“How can we represent our people when we’re not fully equipped? As Members of Parliament, we’re ridiculed because when we go back to the people, we don’t have anything to show. There are a lot of challenges that people are facing,” she said.

MDC MP for Matabeleland South, Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga added: “The Judiciary doesn’t have to beg. Look at what the Judiciary looks like. They get different cars and they even got farms and all sorts of things because they’re seen as the special ones. The Executive does exactly the same. Who’s a poor cousin? It’s the Legislature and yet these are the people’s representatives.

“The Judiciary or Executive is not a people’s representative. The people’s representatives are ourselves and we need to start asking questions why is it that a person who represents the people out there is treated in the manner that we’re treated?” she queried.

Zanu-PF MP for Uzumba, Cde Simbaneuta Mudarikwa, said it was important for the government to fund Parliamentary business. “There’s no way we can have sovereignty when Parliamentary programmes are sponsored by donors. When a donor sponsors you, you’ve to play to their tune and you’ll have to follow what they’ve to say,” he said.

Added another Zanu-PF MP for Chipinge Central, Cde Raymore Machingura: “Lack of resources has turned people into a psychosomatic disorder. If people have what they’re supposed to have, they’ll give their full attention to Parliament business.”

But Zanu-PF MP for Hurungwe East, Cde Sarah Mahoka, said MPs must take responsibility for passing the budget without looking at their welfare. She said legislators deserved diplomatic passports just like the executive and the judiciary.

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  • chinos

    Fighting to see who self-serves from state coffers better. Exe, leg and jud agreed to be serve the nation first. The whole country we are in extreme poverty. Wen hear you complain about your perks n not the way out of this conundrum then we know we are far away from the solution

  • koka

    thieves, they are now closing ranks because they want the poor tax payer fund their luxuries. forget it. next elections most of you will be out since zanu will lose hands down. lingathi asilitshelanga

  • Thabani

    The Judiciary probably don’t even get a cent from the government if MPs aren’t getting, but I imagine corrupt judges in Zimbabwe are living very well off bribes.

  • Freedom Fighter

    An MP is not full time job. Find something else to do if you are fed up. We are tired of you mercenaries. Come and join ZPF.

  • chitayitayi

    MP’s should not ask for money they are not employed but volunteer to serve people ,go back to the old days an MP had to have assets first and verified before qualifying.Now its about money that’s why our country is bleeding because the guys are just going for enrichment.

  • jahman

    Only the thieves in the public sector are living well in this country otherwise we all suffering from poor wages thanks to zanu mismanagement of the economy.

  • Doctor Do little

    It is amazing that for once they agree on something across Party lines. Problem is they agree because it is something that they seek for their own benefit . When it comes to agreeing or discussing things for their constituents then they vote on instruction from their leaders. Now it is backfiring. If MP’s voted with their concious and with the peoples desires and aspirations in mind we would not be in this situation and neither would they. If the truth be told the past 30 years or so we have seen the most impotent Parliamentarians and Councillors ever. Totally useless.

    • Mixed Race

      Well said mate.These mps are a total disgrace and they lie heavily without conscience.How are they worse of compared to the masses who voted them into these high positions? They have very expensive cars they can sell and buy small ones which use less fuel,thus saving millions of money per year on fuel allowances.They can not do that because they want to be treated as very important people at the expense of those who put them in those positions,in fact,not on merit but on political belonging.They should ask themselves these few questions before making silly cries and complaints!!!
      1-What bills have they passed in parliament which are useful to the public?
      2-Why are they failing to control the police on spot fines,when the courts have ruled out that what they are doing is against the country’s laws?
      3-Why should they be treated differently from their poor masses who have no food at the moment?
      4How many of them have tried to source for immediately needed food for the masses,instead of them complaining of simple allowances which are not life threatening to them?
      In my opinion their complaints are silly and baseless,therefore they should be removed from these positions they got through our stupidity and cheap tribal voting practice.

      • Essexvale

        Well said too. I would simply like to add that members of parliament should be the servants of those who elected them instead of the overlords that many want to be. And dignity is not necessarily attained through having top of the range vehicles and a charmed lifestyle. On the contrary, it comes through respect for the electorate together with a desire and ability to preform effectively.