MPs: We’re so poor it’s embarrassing

via MPs: We’re so poor it’s embarrassing.  3 July 2014 by Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S MPs claim they are resorting to dodgy activities in order to keep up appearances because of pressure from constituents who believe they are wealthy and always approach them for help, Parliament heard on Thursday.

Particularly angered with their plight were first-time MPs who spent large sums of money – in some cases borrowed funds – while campaigning last year only to realise there was no financial return on the “investment”.

The lawmakers were recently handed top of the range vehicles from Parliament in an $11 million scheme funded by a government struggling to pay civil servants.

Despite the posh cars however, the MPs – who have not been receiving their sitting and other allowances – claim to be wallowing in poverty and unable to meet the needs of communities they represent.

Parliament heard Thursday that MPs were struggling to live up to the expectations of constituents who believe they are wealthy and always demand material and financial hand-outs.

Zanu PF’s Mutasa South legislator, Irene Zindi, vented the legislators’ frustrations while debating a motion to force the government to put money into the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Zindi said MPs were being forced to engage in corruption and other social-vices such as illegal gold smuggling and cross border trading to keep up with their assumed status.

“They (constituents) look at the MP for their financial needs even to the extent of requesting for things which I as an honourable member can’t afford,” she said.

“This results in some MPs engaging in corrupt practices and smuggling of gold among other things so as to satisfy the electorates and assist them.

“It is one of the reasons you would read in papers about Members of Parliament being splashed in front pages of newspapers that MP so and so has been implicated in corruption and other things.”

Innocent Gonese, MDC-T MP for Mutare Central added that first time legislators were stunned to realise that there was no financial return on the huge sums they invested while campaigning.

Said the opposition legislator: “I know that some of the new MPs are wondering – ‘is this what we are getting after investing so much in campaigning?’ They were hoping that there is green grass here.

“But there is nothing greener here Mr Speaker sir, the only thing that looks green here is the carpet and the benches otherwise it is a dry land.

“The electorate have high expectations on us but we don’t have the money. Many people think that when one becomes an MP, he is automatically rich, but I know that first time members are disappointed.”

Parliament is facing serious financial problems and unable to pay members sitting and fuel allowances while hotels in the capital were also now refusing to accommodate them due to non-payment.

The legislators are owed 15 weeks of fuel while sitting allowances from the current and last Parliament have yet to be paid. US$4 million in sitting allowances is owing from the last Parliament in addition to US$1,4 million for the current Parliament.


  • comment-avatar
    Fundani Moto 8 years ago

    Being an MP should not be seen as a profit-making business. Obviously our legislators are in it for the wrong reasons. Zimbabweans should learn not to elect these paupers into office because the first things they are looking for are luxury cars and living large. If they are in it to represent the people why do they want to be seen richer than those they represent? I appeal to my compatriots to elect people who are self-sufficient and have the country at heart, not those seeking the gravy train.

    • comment-avatar
      Petal 8 years ago

      these self serving MP (mampara people) do not put the people who elected them first – it is always about them first

    • comment-avatar
      Disillusioned 8 years ago

      Well said

  • comment-avatar
    zanupf fear me 8 years ago

    Too poor to shop in china Dubai Malaya Singapore Addis etc !!!!!!!!

  • comment-avatar

    There us no tax money because there is no businesses left therefore government does not have any money. Is it so difficult to understand. Bloody fools

  • comment-avatar
    Doris 8 years ago

    And rest assured they all – each and every one of them – have grabbed a farm or two for themselves.

  • comment-avatar
    JRR56 8 years ago

    Crooks the lot of them!

  • comment-avatar
    Ruramai 8 years ago

    Pathetic. These idiots are not even aware that it is not their responsibility to take care of the financial needs of members of their constituencies as it would be an impossible task.

    Their job is to come up with legislation that would create an enabling environment for the economy to create employment. Instead, they push for confusing laws such as the confusing indigenisation law that stifles investment.

    There is poverty around them caused by their ineffectiveness and yet they expect to remain unaffected by that poverty by demanding unrealistic salaries and perks from a broke government.

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    petal 8 years ago

    Does That arrogant Themba Mliswa top the list of mps pleading poverty after grabbing businesses etc.

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    Stop buying post cars and stop supporting skewed governance. Wake up. What good are most of you too the nation????

  • comment-avatar

    I mean posh cars

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    Miimo 8 years ago

    sell the cars and pocket the money – maybe mugabe will give you another one, that’s your way isn’t it take for nothing and sell it for personal profit – you’ve done it to the whole of Zimbabwe why not do it for a few cars worth of cash.

  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 8 years ago

    Indeed, ‘You are so poor its embarrassing.’ And we’re not talking about money here