MPs to finally get allowances for visiting their constituencies

MPs allowed to import two vehicles duty-free worth US$60K

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MPs to finally get allowances for visiting their constituencies
MPs to finally get allowances for visiting their constituencies

MPs to finally get allowances for visiting their constituencies

Legislators in the 10th Parliament are finally going to be paid allowances for visiting their constituencies starting in the 2024 financial year.

This was revealed during the debate of the 2024 national budget by Senators, a few weeks ago.

The allowance is a product of the several demands made by the 9th Parliament during the pre-budget seminar in 2020 that was held in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

Although the allowance was agreed upon, it was however never disbursed to the legislators.

During that seminar, the legislators complained that they didn’t have enough resources to travel across their constituencies. Those from rural constituencies argued that their constituencies are too big.

MPs complained that they didnt have resources to visit their constituencies

Zimbabwean laws do not necessarily require legislators to stay in their constituencies.

This has seen most legislators opting to stay in Harare where Parliament is based, and often visit their constituencies.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said the constituency visiting allowance was one of the things that made him revise the Parliament budget for 2024.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube revised budget to give MPs allowances to visit their constituencies

‘’Then the adjustment to the Parliamentary budget. Yes, we adjusted it by ZW$225 billion last week when we were debating in the Lower House and one of the reasons was because of the cost of constituency visits for example.

Parliament budget was increase by ZW$225 billion

‘’There are a few things that are needed. It is the issue of the constituency visit, the constituency office, and then the CDF. Three things caused us to revise the budget and we think that we did quite a bit to accommodate those three additional issues.

‘’Then the salaries for staff. We certainly want to make sure that they are well supported through the budget,’’ he said.

Which MPs will get a constituency visit allowance?

Zimbabwe has about 210 legislators who are directly elected, then 60 women elected under the proportional representation clause. There are also 10 youth seats under the youth quota clause to make it 280 in the National Assembly.

There are also 80 Senators in the Senate since the day the current constitution was adopted in 2013. It is not yet clear if all the 360 legislators will get the allowance. The Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is only given to the 210 legislators.

Will all the 380 legislators get the allowance to visit constituencies?

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube also promised to improve the issue of hotel accommodation for legislators which was raised by Senator Mbohwa, adding that he will be releasing the budget three months in advance.

‘’She (Senator Mbohwa) then talked about supporting our Parliamentarians with hotel accommodation. I think we have had some systems that have glitches, but there is an issue about sticking to a pre-agreed three months – we agreed as the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Standing Rules and Orders (SRO) that the budget should be given three months in advance by the Treasury. We stand committed to that, we just have to implement this. It will assist in managing issues regarding hotels.

MPs allowed to import two vehicles duty-free worth US$60K

‘’Then on transportation, Hon. Mbohwa talked about this issue that Parliamentarians need their vehicles, we will deliver. As we recall, in the last Parliament we made an adjustment at the end and each MP is allowed to bring in two vehicles duty-free up to an amount of USD60 000. That provision still stands.

‘’We will continue so that any Member of Parliament can bring a second vehicle through that window,’’ he said.

MPs allowed to import two vehicles duty-free worth US$60K
MPs allowed to import two vehicles duty-free worth US$60K

During the time of Temba Mliswa, Parliamentarians were often criticised for prioritising their own welfare at the expense of the suffering mass.

MPs to finally get allowances for visiting their constituencies