Govt to pay GNU MPs’ allowances

via Govt to pay GNU MPs’ allowances | The Herald June 27, 2015

THE Government is committed to paying outstanding sitting allowances owed to members of the Seventh Parliament that sat during the era of the inclusive Government, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.

Minister Chinamasa said this during Senate’s question and answer session on Thursday.

“We are committed as Government to meeting all our obligations and our track record shows that. We even assumed obligations from the Ian Smith regime to pay for arms that were used to fight us.

“Some of the obligations are emanating from the inclusive Government and as I attempt to balance our books, I have to grapple with past obligations over the past five years and these include arrears from the Seventh Parliament. I also have the obligations to pay current allowances. Balancing is not easy but I have prioritised that (payment of the outstanding allowances), although I am not able to say when I will meet the obligations,” Minister Chinamasa said.

Parliamentarians who sat in the Seventh Parliament are owed outstanding allowances running into millions of dollars and some of them have been making endless trips to Parliament to enquire about their payment.

Government has been struggling to pay parliamentarians’ allowances due to the tight fiscal space.

Minister Chinamasa also said Government would find resources to fund by-elections that may arise as holding them was a constitutional matter.

He said this while responding to Manicaland Senator Mr David Chimhini, who wanted to know where Government was getting the money to fund the by-elections when it was operating on a tight budget.

“Once positions are declared as vacant, it becomes a constitutional obligation to hold the by-election within the limited budget. Resources will be found to meet constitutional provisions,” he said.

He said 16 by-elections were recently held without incident despite the tight fiscal space.