Zanu PF MPs meet Mnangagwa and Chiwenga over allowances
DISGRUNTLED Zanu PF members of Parliament on Wednesday met President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga at State House, where they complained bitterly about their incapacitation due to erratic payment of salaries, allowances and the non-provision of fuel which they said was hindering their work and hampering visibility in their constituencies.
The legislators also complained bitterly over Finance minister Mthuli Ncube’s perceived hostility towards them.
Parliamentary sources told The NewsHawks that the MPs made it clear to Mnangagwa and his deputy that they had visited the two Zanu PF leaders not as a form of revolt but to tell him that they were incapacitated and financially paralysed, such that they could not effectively work for the President in their constituencies.
They said the development was worrying ahead of general elections next year.
“The MPs complained about the non-payment of salaries and sitting allowances. They also told the President that they believed Mthuli wanted to hold on to their outstanding salaries and allowances until the current session of Parliament ends so that the money would never be released totally,” said the source.
The NewsHawks also gathered that during the meeting, the Zanu PF MPs told their two leaders that due to non-payment of salaries and allowances, they were unable to conduct projects back home in their constituencies so as to prop up the image of the party and President ahead of next year’s general elections.
“The MPs also complained about fuel. They indicated that the distribution of the fuel coupons is now so irregular to an extent that it was again affecting their programmes in constituencies,” said the source.
Another issue that the MPs brought to the attention of Mnangagwa and his deputy pertained to the car loans which they had pegged at US$80 000, but were cut by Mthuli Ncube to US$50 000. They also said they wanted assistance in acquiring houses or stands, given that ministers and deputy ministers had such privileges.
The MPs also spoke of the issue of accommodation that the government is currently failing to provide for legislators coming from outside Harare, making it difficult for them to attend parliamentary business like debates and participation in Monday committee meetings.
“They (Zanu PF MPs) proposed that since government was paying a lot of money to some hotels, in order to cut costs they proposed that they be given a flat fee of US$100 per night then they could look for their own accommo dation when they come to Harare for parliamentary business between Sundays and Thursdays,” said another source.
The NewsHawks also established that the MPs escalated the issue of ministers who dodge the National Assembly’s question-and-answer session every Wednesdays.
At that point, Chiwenga is said to have promised that he will directly instruct ministers to promptly attend the grilling sessions and have Parliament administration maintain a register of attendance.
This week, the issue was also raised in Parliament by MPs, and speaker Jacob Mudenda promised to allow the MPs to invoke contempt of Parliament charges for the absentee ministers who do not seek leave of absence.
The NewsHawks also gathered that after the meeting, Ncube was ordered to pay MPs. He acted swiftly and some legislators received their money that very day.
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