As Zimbabwe battles to curb the spread of COVID-19, Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator Justice Mayor Wadyajena has challenged Ministers, legislators and other top government officials to donate their one-month salaries and allowances towards the response program.
Wadyajena’s call comes at a time when Zimbabwe has registered 7 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one fatality.
“This pandemic may wipe us all out if we don’t jack up! Our country is ill-prepared to fight COVID-19, much like the rest of the world. If we truly represent the people, every single MP, Permanent Secretary and senior government officials must sacrifice a once-off salary and allowance donation to the fund.
“There is no good reason for MPs to disagree with me on this, we owe our positions to the people who voted us into the office and we have to serve and protect their interests. Let’s put our money where our mouth is.
“Personally, I have already committed much, much more than my MP salary towards various COVID-19 initiatives, but I would sacrifice it once again without blinking towards this goal.
“The collective amount may not seem like much but it’s substantial enough to cover some of the required equipment. If supported by MPs from across the political divide, we can actually achieve something,” he said.
Ministers and Parliamentary Portfolio Committee Chairperson earn about ZW$10 000 per month in salaries while ordinary legislators earn slightly below ZW$10 000.
Ministers and legislator also get sitting allowances when they sit to conduct government business.
Asked on efforts he has undertaken to fight the spread of COVID19 in his constituency, Wadyajena said all gatherings have been barred and that they are using social media to communicate.
“With respect to my constituency, all gatherings have been outlawed so we have to use social media and the less sophisticated but reliable traditional methods of communication where there’s no access to the internet to inform and educate.
“I also launched an empowerment initiative for village health workers, traditional and community leaders, giving them sanitizers and sprays to disinfect themselves and their homes.
“We were well ahead of the curve in Nembudziya and most of the crucial information that saves lives has been shared and is known by the community,” he said.