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Publish our salaries in newspapers: Mliswa

By Daniel Chigundu

Norton legislator Temba Mliswa has called on Parliament to publish in newspapers the level of salaries that legislators are getting adding that it will go a long way in dispelling the belief that they are being handsomely paid.

Legislators have been demanding better salaries and comfortable vehicles such land cruiser V8 over the past weeks and the demands have not gone down well with the people who have come out guns blazing against the legislators whom they accuse of being selfish at a time when the country is going through a crisis.

However, speaking in the National Assembly on Tuesday, Mliswa who is one of the legislators campaigning for luxury vehicles for legislators said it was important that their salaries be publicly published.

“…can the administration of Parliament furnish the nation of Zimbabwe with our remuneration because people think we are getting a salary of $5 000 or $10 000.

“It is important that Parliament of Zimbabwe puts in the Herald what we are being given, that is $2 000 and allowances because each time we come to this House and we push for our welfare they think we are being selfish.

“Ministers are still being given Land Cruisers and Mercedes Benz.  So, how can the austerity measures be targeted to Parliamentarians only and not the Executive yet we know for a very long time, it is the Executive that has been spending a lot of money,” he said.

On top of the $2000 monthly salary, ordinary legislators get about $75 in sitting allowances for each day they sit on Parliament business, vehicles under a loan scheme and fuel coupons allocations.

Legislators in the 9th Parliament of Zimbabwe were allocated a vehicle loan scheme cap of about $50 000 by the treasury to possibly purchase Isuzu or Toyota vehicles.

Honourable Mliswa also took the opportunity to complain that some legislators have been allocated more money than what was set out as the cap.

I rise on a point of privilege.  I continue arming you with more information in terms of the welfare of the Members of Parliament.  The first issue is, whilst some had gone to pick a $50 000 car others have been given an allowance of $55 000 and these are members of the Speaker’s Panel, Standing Rules and Orders members and Chairpersons.

“The question that I bring to you Madam Speaker is, if that is the correct position, I would like to know where they got the extra $5 000 from because $50 000 is what was said was the cap.  Are we today not the same, are we different today?

“So Madam Speaker, it is important that you also look into it.  I saw a letter myself which gave others $55 000 and the majority had $50 000,” he said.

Mliswa also spoke out against what he termed the “ugly head of corruption” at Parliament with regards to vehicle purchases.

“Madam Speaker, I am also told there are people who had a choice to buy Isuzu vehicles from Paza Buster.  I am told again that the ugly head of corruption has visited our august House where people are now being told where to buy vehicles and are being told not to go to Paza Buster.

“Madam Speaker, can you also look into that and find out why Paza Buster is not part of the list because other people prefer Toyota and others prefer Isuzu.  It means that even those who want to marry must be given a wife at the end of the day yet you have a choice of a wife.

“I think it is important that we are treated like adults, we are not young children and we are constantly being treated like young children.  That must stop.  We have a choice of association.  The Constitution itself talks about freedom of association, so whether I go and buy a vehicle from Croco Motors or Paza Buster, it is my choice.  I thought Madam Speaker, I should raise these issues.

“Finally, let me talk about the diplomatic passport.  The President approved for every Member of Parliament to have a diplomatic passport. Who is working against the President is not taking the order from the President?

“The President, the Head of State has said all Members of Parliament must be given diplomatic passports.  We do not have them.  So, who is stopping that from happening?  There are people working against the President and soon they shall be exposed,” he said.

With regards to legislators’ welfare issues, Mliswa said “we shall stop debating any other issues in Parliament until our welfare is taken care of.

“We are tired of passing Bills, we are tired of passing laws yet we are nothing at the end of the day.  So, Madam Speaker, I thank you very much and I know Madam Speaker, as a mother you feel for us your children. I know your heart is aching, we are your children, please advance this for us,” he said.

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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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