via Maridadi questions ministers’ ‘meagre salaries’ March 21, 2014 in NewsDay by Veneranda Langa
MDC-T Mabvuku Tafara MP James Maridadi yesterday told the National Assembly he smelt a rat over the meagre amounts said to be earned by ministers compared to their opulent lifestyles.
Maridadi made the comments while contributing to debate on a motion on garbage strewn in the streets of Harare where he said the filthy state of Harare was due to corruption where people looted and gave themselves hefty salaries at the expense of service delivery.
The motion was introduced in the National Assembly on Tuesday by Zanu PF Gokwe MP Dorothy Mangami, and seconded by Zanu PF Mutasa South MP Irene Zindi.
“The first garbage we should deal with is ‘garbage’ of obscene salaries as it bridges the gap between the rich and poor and at the end a man who lives in a 40-roomed house sees places like Epworth where there is no electricity or sewer system as garbage,” Maridadi said.
“The salary schedules that we were recently shown show that ministers earn $3 000, but some of the pictures of houses that they own show that they are worth
$20 million — and we are talking of ministers who live in three storey houses with several vehicles – and how does a minister earning $3 000 afford to construct such a house?”
Maridadi said corruption was the garbage and there was need to curb populist government policies of scrapping debts without funding the local authorities.
Zanu PF MP for Buhera West Oliver Mandipaka also said politics contributed to filthy cities, adding that Operation Murambatsvina of 2005 was necessary in order to restore sanity in cities.
“With Operation Murambatsvina we wanted to ensure there was sanity in our cities and decongestion,” Mandipaka said.
MDC-T MP Fanny Chirisa said local authorities had neglected high density suburbs, and the Ministry of Finance should give them 5% of the national budget as required by the new Constitution.
Mbizo MDC-T legislator Settlement Chikwinya said road levies should be given back to local authorities for the purpose of repairing roads instead of being given to Zinara.
“Zinara should only deal with Highways. There is need to swear in provincial councils so that they can start work and the Executive risks litigation if these people elected to be provincial councillors remain unsworn,” Chikwinya said.