Mliswa revealed that they are also US$25 to PSMAS for medical aid from the same amount.
He added that poor people may not be able to contest in elections because of the demanding nature of the process and of the job after one is elected.
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Politics isn’t a game for the poor and requires much financial investments. People should understand the money that MPs get before blasting them. We are paid RTGS$75 000. You divide that by 400, the current rate, to get the amount in US$.
Seating allowance is RTGS 3000 for committees and Parliament. Medical aid we pay RTGS$10 000 to PSMAS. For me I have 19 kids plus myself 20. When you pay this medical aid panosara marii? Medical aid we pay for ourselves, it’s not Parliament that pays.
Cars we service for ourselves and it’s a single car for 5 years. Imagine someone like Hon Dubeko Sibanda driving from his constituency in Binga. How many times does he service the car after driving to Parliament? Over 1000km every week? How can you serve properly with 1 car?
They should be a car in the constituency to help the residents. We have no information centres in the constituencies to cater for issues of information dissemination relating to a variety of issues such as Covid, census etc.
I have a personal constituency office in Norton which I run on my own. Just the rentals I pay nearly a US$1000. I have a staff complement which I pay nearly a US$1000 again. That is before other expenses such as Wifi and other office consumables.
On top of that we have inflationary issues. Yet right now we are yet to be paid our sitting allowances since February. It’s an unfortunate situation which leads to legislators seeking for ways to make money. This includes selling fuel coupons, striking vehicles deals etc.
When they go on site visits at companies some get captured through being given goodies. It’s bad. A comparison with other African countries shows the pathetic standards locally. If you go to Kenya MPs are paid US$15 000, Zambia is around US$3000. We are paid less than US$200!
How do you expect us to have effective oversight in such a situation. It’s difficult. I have never benefitted a Parliamentary car because I made my own money outside Parliament. That makes me an effective independent legislator. However not everyone has the same financial clout.
That is why many fail to contest. If you want to contest me in Norton the politics is of such a nature that you have to be resourced more than I am. If not, your chances of winning are very slim because residents have financial needs and expect the MP to chip in financially.
If you can’t do that, they will discard you! Therefore the fact is that there is no money at Parliament. Don’t look as legislators as some monied people. The few that have money such as Tendai Biti and Job Sikhala are lawyers who have personal initiatives which pay them.
However the rest who wait for Parliament have nothing. If you are not a Minister you have nothing because they are the ones who get meaningful benefits. So people say MPs are stupid etc but if I’m stupid and yet am a product of a public vote what does that make you?