28 December 2017

Zimbabwe: Legislators Finally Paid Ahead of Xmas

Harare — Parliamentarians had a great Christmas after government disbursed $4, 5 million to settle outstanding sitting allowances.

The MPs reportedly pocketed at least $30,000 each. They had not been paid since a new Parliament was sworn in four years ago.

Zanu PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke confirmed the payments to the Herald.

"Indeed, we are grateful to the government for making good our allowances. Every MP is happy and it enhanced the morale of our legislators across the political divide," said Matuke this Wednesday.

Protests which stalled debate and often becoming the core business had come to characterise the national assembly.

The MPs had to force the neck deep in debt government to meet the obligation before the dissolution of the eighth parliament next year to pave for elections.

According to sources at Parliament, what remains outstanding are arrears emanating from accommodation for law makers from outside town who use own lodgings. These are paid half the rates for hotel accommodation.

"This applies to MPs whose constituencies are outside Harare, but might have residences in the capital and might not need accommodation from Parliament.

"They help us a lot in saving costs in accommodation because we will pay them half of what it costs for a night in a hotel."

The financially crippled government of former president Robert Mugabe had initially offered stands as payment but the legislators would have none of it.

Instead a pre-budget meeting was disrupted recently and, on another occasion, parliament had to adjourn early because the legislators would not perform their duties effectively before the settlement of the allowances.


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