By Daniel Chigundu
CONTROVERSIAL Hurungwe East legislator Honourable Sarah Mahoka has proposed that Members of Parliament (MPs) should take a pay-cut to enable Government to increase civil servants’ salaries.
Legislators in Zimbabwe are divided into two separate assemblies under the bicameral legislature system, the National Assembly, also known as the Lower House and the Senate, popularly known as the Upper House.
There are 270 MPs in the National Assembly and 80 Senators in the Senate and all of them are entitled to vehicles, fuel coupons and sitting allowances.
Speaking in Parliament recently Hon. Mahoka who is also Zanu PF’s Mashonaland West Provincial Women’s League Chairperson had this to say,
“Government should remove a certain percentage from MP’s salaries and give it to civil servants, because they are paid better than civil servants and they were also given cars on top of other privileges,” she said.
The cash strapped Government is in the process of trying to revive Quality International Hotel which it bought for Parliament to accommodate MPs from outside Harare.
Government is failing to collect enough revenue to finance its operations and to pay over 500,000 civil servants. This alone would need about US$3.2 billion from the country’s US$4 billion budget.
For the first time since independence Government failed to pay bonuses to its workers in 2015 and has been playing hide and seek with the actual date when bonuses will be paid.
Labour Minister Prisca Mupfumira is quoted in the media saying that Government is doing its best to put together money for bonuses but is not sure when they will be paid.
The country’s chief tax collector ZIMRA last week revealed that it had missed its revenue collection targets for the last quarter of 2015.
Lack of financial leg-room has resulted in government failing to implement some of the projects mentioned in the economic blue-print ZimAsset which expires in 2018.
According to economic experts Government requires an astronomical US$27 billion to fully implement ZimAsset.