MPs booked in brothels as Parliament struggles to find accommodation

MPs have no contracts of service

MPs booked in brothels as Parliament struggles to find accommodation
MPs booked in brothels as Parliament struggles to find accommodation

MPs booked in brothels as Parliament struggles to find accommodation

Parliament of Zimbabwe which has been failing to service its hotel debts has reportedly booked some of the legislators in brothels so that they are able to attend sittings.

Legislators from out of Harare are supposed to be booked into hotels when they are attending Parliament. However, due to delays in paying for the services, some hotels have been refusing to accommodate the legislators.

The issue was raised by Norton legislator Temba Mliswa in the National Assembly.

Mliswa argued that the dignity of the legislators was under threat and even proposed that Parliament should be suspended until resources to pay hotels are found.

‘’I think it is also important for you to know that the conditions which the Members of Parliament are facing are rather sad. Not only that, just the decency and dignity, we are fast losing it because of the accommodation crisis, we have Members of Parliament staying at places like the Harare Club, which is a no-star and a brothel. Our human dignity is at stake.

‘’I think if at all there is no means of accommodation, it is good to advise Members of Parliament not to come, rather than exposing them to such places. Others are married and being seen in such places does not augur well.  It causes a lot of pain and disharmony in a family.

‘’The challenges which we are facing right now, reflect on a number of issues. On our terms of conditions, being a Member of Parliament, I have never signed a contract or agreement to my terms or conditions of my salary, allowances, the package of the car, pension and so forth.  I think it is important that once that is done, it sets a good precedence, moving forward.  Even if Parliament itself is not able to do that but there is a written document, which guides Members of Parliament on what they are entitled to.

‘’Not only that Mr. Speaker Sir, we have several times said why can we not be given money to find our own accommodation and cook our food because the health we are exposed to in terms of food in the hotels is not healthy. If we had been given money to pay for our accommodation and food, these issues would not be happening monthly. Right now, I know certain things are probably beyond your control but we are just lost sheep. 

‘’I am glad that the Honourable Vice President is here. Hawasisina kwekugara vana wenyu maMembers of Parliament and it is becoming difficult for us to conduct our responsibilities, our mandate by standing here.

‘’I do not know Mr. Speaker Sir, you have Ambassador Hotel, what class hotel is it?  What class hotel is a Member of Parliament entitled to stay in?  You have got the Rainbow which is probably Four Star or Five Star and then the other Member goes to a Two Star hotel. So whether there is discrimination, how then are we equal when one is in a Five Star hotel and the other one is in a Two Star hotel?

‘’In conclusion Mr. Speaker Sir, it becomes very difficult.  If we cannot at all afford it, then I think it is best we go home and we just continue without work until Parliament has enough funding for us to continue our mandate, but we are doing this in a much-compromised position.  I want you to know that,’’ he said.

In his response, the Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda blamed chief whips for not bringing the issue forward.

He also indicated that some arrangements have since been made as they await to finalise other issues with Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.

‘’Thank you very much. When you speak of some contractual agreement, we are now toward the tail end of the 9th Parliament and some of you were in the 8th Parliament, others in the 7th Parliament, others in the 6th Parliament and so on.

‘’In the structure of Parliament, you have your whips minus yourself of course, who is an independent.  Your whips are directly responsible for the welfare –you have the whips and they are expected to bring such proposals to the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.  The whips come from the political parties

‘’So, if there are certain perhaps miscommunication and so on, you have the accounting officer, the Clerk of Parliament and you have me.  Bring these things to our attention and we will act accordingly.  When I was away there has been some proposal or decision from the Treasury, which decision we have attended to as of yesterday and I want to believe as we go forward, the issue will be sorted out accordingly.

‘’There were two major issues as far as I was informed – the housing loan and the second vehicles.  Those were the outstanding issues.  As far as accommodation, the hotels; this has been a problem not only for Parliament but also for ministries of Government and the Treasury is coming up with some solutions.  That is why we are able to secure accommodation at the Rainbow Towers. ‘’There are differentials Hon. Mliswa, I agree.  I am not sure whether the Ambassador is a Three Star hotel.  What is important is, while we come to some finality with Treasury, the Minister is arriving only today and we should be able to iron out some of these issues that affect you directly.  Indeed, you deserve dignity as lawmakers of this nation.  No country can operate without the law and Parliaments make the law, and that is why you are Hon. Members.  In that regard that honour needs to be respected and protected,’’ he said.

MPs booked in brothels as Parliament struggles to find accommodation

MPs booked in brothels as Parliament struggles to find accommodation