HARARE – Members of Parliament (MPs) received between US$30 000 and US$40 000 each in sitting allowances after Treasury released US$4.5 million last week.
The MPs had not received their sitting allowances since the 8th Parliament was sworn in after the 2013 elections. However, Treasury still needs to disburse money to cover the arrears for accommodation allowances for legislators whose constituencies are outside Harare. The MPs get paid half the rates for hotel accommodation. Norton Legislator Temba Mliswa said that what was left was for the legislators to receive housing stands.
Said Mliswa in Parliament last week,
My point of order, first of all, is to thank you for ensuring that we got our money into our accounts.
It is only proper that when you do good, we must also recognise the good. We know that before we actually had a break, I did bring the issue of our allowances being outstanding and you did promise us.
You did certainly guarantee us that you would ensure that we get our allowances. I would like to thank you for that. The only outstanding issue is really not your baby, but it is the stands. We hope that the Minister of Local Government can equally move quicker to ensure that we also get our stands.
On a number of occasions, debate in parliament had to be stopped after legislators demanded the settlement of their allowances.
An official who spoke to the Chronicle said:
The only MPs with outstanding money are those that should be paid accommodation allowances for not staying in Parliament booked hotels. This applies to MPs whose constituencies are outside Harare, but might have residences in the capital and might not need accommodation from Parliament.
They help us a lot in saving costs in accommodation because we will pay them half of what it costs for a night in a hotel.