Auxilia Katongomara Bulawayo Bureau
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has said MPs will get a pension after completing their five-year terms.
The proposal is made in the Finance Bill which is now before the Senate.
Members of Parliament have since asked for vehicles and an increase in their allowances because of the important role they play in the running of the country.
Prof Ncube announced the proposal to provide for MPs’ pensions during the 2019 National Budget debate in the National Assembly.
“We have an additional clause that we propose should be added, Clause 37, which pertains to the Parliament Pensions Act, Amendment CAP 2.02. The Parliamentary Pensions Act Chapter 2.02 is amended,” said Prof Ncube.
“In Section 7 entitlement to pension, by insertion of the following sub-section 2 ‘for the purposes of the proviso to subsection 1, a former member shall be entitled to be paid a gratuity calculated at the rate of 130 second of his pensionable retiring emoluments for each complete month of his/her service in Parliament. I propose that we adopt it as is. This will deal a comfortable blow to the welfare of parliamentarians.”
Mbizo legislator Mr Settlement Chikwinya (MDC Alliance) applauded Prof Ncube for the decision. He, however, asked if the pensions would apply to members of the Ninth Parliament only or if those who sat in the previous parliaments were also entitled to the benefit.
Prof Ncube responded: “The gratuity is retrospective. I did say this at the beginning when we were discussing the emoluments for Parliament.”
The minister was not immediately reachable to respond to further questions from The Chronicle.
The Finance Bill, which sailed through the National Assembly last week, has been sent to Senate for debate.
Last week, Norton independent MP Mr Temba Mliswa said in Parliament that allowances for MPs should be reviewed because they work hard in representing their constituencies and the country at various platforms.
“Our allowances mean absolutely nothing. The committee that I chair can sit from 8am to 8pm working for this country but what they get is a pittance $75, not US dollars. MPs are people who are working tirelessly for this country in these committees.
“The committees have a risk on their own because they expose people who have money and who have the ability to even put a mafia together for them but what do we get — $75. That has to be reviewed so that MPs are able to execute their duties in a professional manner,” said Mr Mliswa.
He urged Government to also review allowances that legislators get when going on duty outside the country.