9th ParliamentArticles

Govt to host 350 MPs in Vic. Falls for budget seminar

Charters a plane

By Daniel Chigundu

Government of Zimbabwe which is failing to buy even essential drugs for hospitals and to pay its workers meaningful wages is set to host 350 legislators at the majestic Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls from the 30th of October to the 4th of November for a pre-budget seminar.

To make matters worse, the government is chattering a plane for legislators from Harare, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland West Provinces.

Those legislators from Masvingo, Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and Midlands Provinces are expected to drive to Victoria Falls meaning they will get thick booklets of fuel coupons.

Announcing the itinerary Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda urged legislators to confirm their attendance to Parliament’s Public Relations Department.

“I wish to inform the House that the 2019 Pre-Budget Seminar will be held from 30th October to 4th November 2019 at the Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls. Honourable Members must confirm their attendance with the Public Relations Department. Officers from that department will be stationed at the Members Dining Hall on 22nd and 23rd October 2019.

“Honourable Members from Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands and Masvingo Provinces will drive to Victoria Falls, while those from Harare, Manicaland, Mashonaland West, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central provinces will fly.

“A charter flight has been arranged for those that are flying and it departs Harare on 30th October 2019 at 0900 hours and arrives in Victoria Falls at 1000 hours. The return charter flight leaves Victoria Falls on 4th October 2019 at 0900 hours and arrives in Harare at 1000 hours,” he said.

While the pre-budget seminar is important for the country’s budget, the cost of hosting the event in Victoria Falls raises questions on the government’s sincerity to its austerity measures.

There have also been concerns that legislators are living large while the electorate is struggling through various challenges being faced in the economy.

It is believed that legislators recently received a generous sitting allowance increase, received diplomatic passports and are in line to get their vehicles any time soon.

 

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Daniel Chigundu

Daniel Chigundu is a male journalist in Zimbabwe and has been practising since September 2009. He used to the editor for The Business Connect (newspaper) in Harare, has his own news website Tourism Focus which is biased towards the tourism sector. Daniel is also working with Magamba Network on their project called Open Parliament where they do live coverage of Parliamentary activities on Twitter and Facebook. He is currently the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Parliamentary Journalists Forum, is a member of Zimbabwe Small Broadcasters Association and a board member of Digital Communication Network. He holds a Diploma in Communication and Journalism from the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA), a certificate in Youth leadership training from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), a certificate in Citizen Journalism from Magamba Network and is currently a first-year student at Zimbabwe Open University studying for a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Ethics and Organisational Leadership.

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