Govt struggles to settle MPs allowances

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CHENGETAI ZVAUYA

Government is struggling to pay outstanding allowances to former members of Parliament due to financial constraints, it has been established.

Treasury  owes the lawmakers almost  US$30 000 each in  terms of  allowances accrued in the 2013-2018 parliament.

The term of the 8th  Parliamentarians ended  in July last year  when the country held harmonised to elect new members of Parliament from 2018-2023.

Gift Chimanikire former MP for Southerton constituency for MDC-T  confirmed they were yet to receive some of their outstanding sitting allowances.

“We are still owed considerable sums for the past parliament.  I am also entitled to pension as I served three terms in parliament. I am receiving the pension but there is an allowance which is still outstanding,” said Chimanikire.

John Holder former Zanu PF MP for Zvishavane also said he was owed Parliament in terms of his outstanding allowances that were yet to be cleared.  

“I moved a motion last year in June before the end of the 8th   Session demanding that the money be paid but we are still owed the money as former MPs” said Holder.  

“I  submitted  an invoice  of the  money  I am owed  by  Parliament since 2013  and it  amounts to  almost US$ 40 000 in terms of   gratuity,  sitting  allowance,  accommodation and fuel allowances for five years.  I was not paid that money together with some of my colleagues.”

Deputy  minister  of Public Service  labour and Social  Welfare  Lovemore Matuke however said the payment of outstanding  balances  for members of parliament  was  one  of  the  most  important  matters  that  had been attended  to by the new  dispensation.

“But considering that the balance is over five years, Government is  currently lagging behind  in terms of payments.”

 Speaker of Parliament of Jacob Mudenda confirmed receiving some complaints from former parliamentarians.

 “I understand that some of the former MPs are complaining about their outstanding balances and I am going to investigate the matter with the Clerk of Parliament,” said Mudenda. 

The  non -payment  of outstanding  allowances   follows complains by members of the current parliament who have  described their  working  conditions as poor compared to other legislators in the region.

Legislators earn ZWL$2 000per month.