Members of Parliament (MPs) from across the political divide who usually fiercely clash over policy issues have come to speak with one voice in defence of the controversial US$40,000 loan facility from the government that has been widely condemned by observers.
The MPs have signed for a loan facility of US$40 000 each with the over 300 lawmakers rushing to get the loan frowned upon by many as exposing greed and hypocrisy on their part.
Only one MP is said to have refused the facility.
Zanu PF chief whip Pupurai Togarepi told Business Times yesterday that there was nothing wrong with the loans adding those criticising the benevolence by the government “have nothing to do.”
“ls that the only debt to be given to MPs?” Togarepi asked rhetorically.
“MPs drive state-of-the-range vehicles because of a credit by the government. If the government gives debts to its workers, is that an issue?”
“Let us talk about development not personal or private benefits. Every other person deserves support from their employers and can we make a story out of that? lt shows people have nothing better to do than to look into other people’s business.”
He confirmed the MPs from across the political divide were the ones who approached the government for a loan.
The MPs have in the past complained of being ill-treated and reduced to destitutes by the government after they were blocked from hotel accommodation for failing to pay.
They have also complained of a paltry allowance that has seen them impoverished.
“Government cannot look for MPS and seek loans, it is the MPs who go to employers if they cannot meet their responsibility. How are you going to be compromised if you ask for a debt? How can you be compromised if you are going to pay back that debt?”
Togarepi said the government has always supported MPs whom he said were now driving state-of-the-art vehicles among other pecks.
Government bought luxury vehicles including Ford Rangers, Prados, GD6 among many other makes.
MDC-T chief whip David Tekeshe, whose MPs are also beneficiaries of the loan facility, could not immediately comment on the issue saying he needed to consult first.
Citizens Coalition for Change chief-whip Prosper Mutseyami said he was in a meeting.
The loan facility comes after Cabinet Ministers and their deputies have received loans of between US$300 000 and US$500 000 as housing loans.
Norton MP Temba Mliswa who is also chairperson of the Parliamentary welfare committee said lawmakers have the right to get these loans.
“MPs are the headmasters who watch over other arms of state. Why are we unsettled with their lesser benefits even against the humongous allocations for Ministers and deputy Ministers US$500 000 US$350 000 respectively? Certain things are obligatory for certain positions.
“It’s paradoxical that we require effective representation but are not willing to fund it. Again, not all MPs are personally capacitated to function using personal resources. They need it.”