MDC MPs lose allowances

Prosper Mutseyami

PARLIAMENT has docked the allowances of opposition MDC legislators as punishment for walking out on President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) last month, the Daily News reported.

MDC chief whip Prosper Mutseyami yesterday confirmed that their Zanu-PF counterparts had received their allowances ranging between $9 000 and $15 000 each.

In a move meant to embarrass Mnangagwa, whose legitimacy the MDC questions, the party’s MPs turned up in Parliament and participated in the processions preceding the official opening ceremony but as the president and First Lady Auxillia entered the chamber, they remained seated as Zanu-PF legislators stood up.

The opposition MPs only stood up for the national anthem and walked out the moment Mnangagwa began his Sona. Mnangagwa addressed Zanu-PF legislators only much to the chagrin of Mudenda who ruled that Finance minister Mthuli Ncube should not pay the opposition legislators’ sitting allowance, as well as the preceding five months’ allowances.

MPs get a sitting allowance of $700 after it was recently increased from $75.
MDC Alliance legislators have resolved to sue speaker of parliament Jacob Mudenda after he ignored demands to reverse the docking of their allowances.

A lawyer representing the MPs, Alec Muchadehama, said Mudenda had no powers to dock the sitting allowances of the legislators.

He said the Speaker had no powers to dock sitting allowances or prevent MPs from receiving their sitting allowances.

The legislators submitted that Mudenda’s actions were unlawful and unprocedural, adding he violated international conventions, best practices and procedures of Parliament.

Muchadehama cited a case where the Government of Zimbabwe failed an attempt not to pay former Rhodesia Premier, Ian Smith’s salary.

Source – dailynews