via New cars not posh enough for MPs, Mliswa NewZimbabwe 21/05/2014
Zanu PF legislator Temba Mliswa has described vehicles sourced for the lawmakers in a deal to be financed by government as “sub-standard”, adding the legislators deserved better.
Debating on a motion introduced by MDC MP’s Priscilla Misiharabwi-Mushonga on the welfare of civil servants, Mliswa said the MPs have shown patriotism by attending to parliamentary duties without vehicles.
The government, which is struggling to pay civil servants this month, is set to splash about $11 million on vehicles for the country’s bloated legislature.
But Mliswa said the vehicles do not fit their status as they are “honourable” people who should be accorded the same status with their counterparts in the executive.
“No one should be apologetic of getting the new vehicles. In fact, they are sub-standard and of poor quality to what we deserve,” he said while other MPs in the house ululated in support.
“I must commend all of you honourables here who come to Parliament without vehicles. You put national interest first and are proud of your country. You come here without fuel and allowances. This must be commended,” he said.
Under the deal, the MPs were exempted from paying duty and value added tax.
A number of MPs have complained that the terms of the deal were murky with many unhappy they may have to repay for the cars with interest.
Other MPs, in response to Mliswa’s statement, said they have gone for 13 weeks without fuel and allowances which were recently cut from $75 to $40 per sitting.
In 2009 government, which still owes legislators from the last Parliament huge sums in unpaid allowances, had to write off a $4 million debt accrued after the purchase of double cab vehicles during the hyper-inflationary era.
Recently President Robert Mugabe’s government spent about $6 million on 100 luxury Range Rover vehicles with critics arguing Cabinet should show confidence in the country’s industries by buying locally to support the Buy-Zimbabwe Campaign launched last year.