- Last month, Zanu-PF legislator Christopher Peter Chingosho (Headlands MP) requested that Parliament raises salaries for MPs to US$7 000 per month from the current equivalent of US$170.
By Mutsa Makuvaza
TREASURY has in conjuction with the Clerk of Parliament, improved the welfare of Members of Parliament by raising their allowances, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has advised.
Legislators from across the board have been taking every opportunity to push for better perks each time Professor Ncube is in Parliament. Last month, Zanu-PF legislator Christopher Peter Chingosho (Headlands MP) requested that Parliament raises salaries for MPs to US$7 000 per month from the current equivalent of US$170.
Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda said at the time that he had met the parties’ chief whips to discuss the welfare of MPs and were looking into the issue.
Legislators also get US$75 for every sitting among other allowances.
But the allowances matter came up for discussion again in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, with Norton MP Temba Mliswa (INDEPENDENT) asking the Minister why MPs were not being paid better allowances.
“Why are Members of Parliament not being paid US dollar adjusted auction rates so that there is buying power? It is a simple question,” Mliswa queried.
In his response to the question in Parliament, Professor Ncube said the issue of adjusting sitting allowances and other perks for MPs was already being finalised with a view to raise the allowances.
“I am going to reveal something that he is aware of, which is that we are currently in discussions with the leadership of Parliament,” said the Finance Minister. “We want to adjust the sitting allowances for Members of Parliament.
“I think we have reached a position that is based on affordability and the budget projections of Parliament up to year-end.”
The Finance Minister said while he would not reveal the agreed new figure, it would be communicated to legislators from the relevant offices at Parliament.
“We have a figure and I think at the right moment, leadership of Parliament and the office of the Clerk will communicate to Members of Parliament. We have done something in response.
“I cannot reveal the figures because it is up to the leadership to communicate that position. We covered a lot of things such as sitting allowances, vehicle issues, aah they are many.”
Last month, MDC Alliance MP Job Sikhala (Zengeza) published his payslip and complained that Zimbabwean MPs were paid “peanuts” compared to legislators in Kenya and South Africa.
In doing so, Sikhala captioned his payslip saying: “After posting my wife’s 4.500 rtgs pay slip some people challenged me to post my Parliamentary salary pay slip. There you are. It’s 18.654.78 which is between 150 US dollars to 180 US dollars depending on the rate you use, bank or street.”
However, Zanu-PF Youth leader Tendai Chirau said Sikhala had “left out” other allowances and niceties that legislators receive every month, such as fuel coupons and benefits.
Sikhala added that Kenyan and South African earn US$5 674 and US$5 700 respectively per month. – Zimbabwe Voice