By Shamiso Ndangana
Legislators in the National Assembly have asked for a salary increment, arguing that the ZW$72 000 they are currently getting is no longer enough to meet their needs.
So dire is the situation that some legislators are said to be depending on workshops organised by NGOs in hotels to supplement the salaries.
Speaking in the National Assembly, Norton legislator Temba Mliswa who claims to have 18 children pleaded with Parliament arguing that MPs salary is not even enough to pay school fees for their children.
“Mr Speaker Sir, the issue of welfare of the Members of Parliament (MPs) needs to be fixed. Just having been to a workshop, you see that MPs are more for workshops to try and get that extra money.
“Most of them have got children at tertiary institutions that have not gone to school because of school fees not being paid. The remuneration also that we are getting of ZW$72000 is not meeting the basic requirements for them,” he said.
Besides the monthly salary, legislators also get sitting allowances for each day they sit to conduct Parliament business.
MPs sitting allowances used to be about ZW$700 per day before it was reviewed upwards by the government.
The self-styled legislator who claims to speak on behalf of other legislators, said most MPs are underperforming due to poor remuneration.
“Some of the underperforming Members of Parliament is as a result of bad remuneration as they think of how they will get home while their kids are at home and out of school.
“Honestly, how can one have peace of mind to debate when your children are at home and not in school? I say this once again representing Members of Parliament. Some are scared that if they speak, they will be recalled but God has given me that gift to be able to be independent and represent all of them.
“So, in a nutshell, I am the spokesperson for all the Members of Parliament because of the position I hold. May your office, I know Mr Speaker Sir, do something because it is a desperate situation. I hear them speak during the tea. You cannot talk about the workshop, but they are thinking about the children at home. It is not a healthy situation,” he said.
“MPs unhappy with their ZW$72 000 salaries”