via Probe Zvoma’s hefty perks: MPs – DailyNews Live by Chengetai Zvauya 6 MARCH 2014
Lawmakers want long-serving clerk of parliament Austin Zvoma to appear before the National Assembly to unpack the “hefty” perks he is receiving from the legislature amid public umbrage at “obscene” executive compensation at several State-run institutions.
Opposition MDC legislator James Maridadi, tabled the demand while contributing to a debate on corruption moved by Kambuzuma lawmaker Willias Madzimure on Tuesday.
“The head of secretariat the clerk of parliament has an issue to explain to us on his salary,” Maridadi said.
“This is not a secret because we see him every day as he drives a Mercedes Benz S350 costing not less than €160 000 and those below him are driving a double cab (vehicle) worth $40 000 bought from Willowvale.
“That disparity is corruption. If we go into his salary, we will not be surprised if we discover something else.
“Charity begins at home here in Parliament.”
William Mutomba, the acting Speaker, interjected saying Maridadi was out of order. He said it was unfair to discuss Zvoma when he was not in the house and could not defend himself.
Maridadi insisted that he had been given the mandate by his constituents who were keen to know what was happening in Parliament regarding corruption and had every right to ask about Zvoma’s compensation.
“It is not fair Mr Speaker to gag me not to discuss about the parliament head of secretariat, as we have spoken about Cuthbert Dube’s salary but he is not in parliament,” Maridadi shot back.
He was referring to the Premier Service Medical Aid Society (Psmas) benefits saga where Psmas boss Cuthbert Dube was not only taking a $320 000 basic salary as at December last year, but was entitled to a $500 000 long service-award payment every five years, $50 000 travel allowance per trip and another $20 000 for his partner, unlimited fuel and free medical aid — yet he was also raking in $40 000 weekly towards medical treatment last year.
“We are going to give Zvoma the chance to appear before the Parliament committee to defend himself instead of gagging us in not debate about him,” Maridadi said.
Mutomba reprimanded Maridadi for continuing to debate Zvoma’s conditions of service during his absence.
MDC legislator Settlement Chikwinya said Zvoma, who has been clerk of parliament for nearly three decades, had weakened the legislature because of his long stay.
Prosper Mutseyami, MDC MP for Musikavanhu, also challenged Gershem Pasi, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) commissioner-general, to clear his name on the “Salarygate scandal” amid allegations he was getting hefty executive compensation.
Pasi has petitioned Parliament to charge Mbizo legislator Settlement Chikwinya — under its standing orders — for alleging he was earning $310 000 a month.
The development also comes as the tax agency and its boss have petitioned at least three local papers to stop repeating the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) member of parliament (MP)’s recent remarks or motion about his alleged sky-high pay.
“We had a workshop last month with Zimra and we did ask about Pasi’s salary and he told us it was okay but now were are hearing that he is earning a hefty salary, he must also come and explain to us in the committee about it,” Mutseyami said.