Legislators have accused Parliament of failing to honour an agreement which was made in Victoria Falls during a lavish pre-budget seminar which would see them being paid an allowance for visiting their constituencies when Parliament is on break.
The pre-budget seminar has literally become a platform for legislators to put their demands forward to the government which if not adhered to they threaten to sabotage the budget process.
Speaking in the National Assembly recently, Gokwe-Chireya legislator Tonderayi Moyo said the allowance was agreed in Victoria Falls and Parliament must up.
“…I rise on a point of privilege. My point of privilege arises from the challenges that we experience in our constituencies. There is an issue that we deliberated on in Victoria Falls last year concerning constituency-based allowances.
“We were hoping to get a response but up to now, the situation has not been addressed. We kindly request your office to address this issue expeditiously.
“We are experiencing challenges as we run around doing activities in our constituencies particularly when the Parliament is on recess. For example, December to February we did not have any fuel and we have challenges to access all parts of our constituencies. We kindly request your office to address this challenge…
“Mr Speaker Sir. It is an issue that we agreed last year in Victoria Falls that Honourable Members would get constituency-based allowances,” he said.
The allowance if granted will add to a list of demands from legislators that have been met by the government in the past months.
So far the government has reportedly increased legislators monthly salaries, sitting allowances, residential stands, has bought vehicles, delivered diplomatic passports and also bought Samsung tablets recently.
Legislators get a monthly salary, fuel coupons, sitting allowance for each day they sit to conduct Parliament business.
In his response to Honourable Moyo’s point of privilege, the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda promised to look into the issue.
“Thank you for the clarification, I will look into the matter,” he said.