Broke govt releases $4mln to pay off allowances for restive MPs

Broke govt releases $4mln to pay off allowances for restive MPs

HARARE, November 2 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s broke government has released $4 million to settle overdue sitting allowances for Members of Parliament, about 50 percent of the total owed, Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda said on Thursday, calming restive legislators.Parliamentarians last month protested over allowances and Constituency Development Fund allocations which have not been paid since 2011 mainly due to lack of resources.

Zimbabwe’s budget is entirely funded by taxes.

MPs receive a $75 sitting allowance and a fixed monthly stipend of $2,000, in addition to fuel coupons.

Government has failed to pay them since 2011, as well as laptops and tablets which they were promised.

Earlier this week, Treasury also availed $5 million for the CDF.

“The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has now managed to secure $4,000,000 for disbursement towards members sitting allowances. This represents half of what is owed to Members.

“Members will be paid on a pro rata basis and each member should, therefore, expect to get almost half of what they are owed,” Chokuda said in a circular to legislators.

Chokuda said treasury has committed to paying the remainder of the legislators allowances by December 15th.

‘This will see Parliament clearing all arrears related to Members allowances for both the 7th and 8th Parliaments before the end of the year,” he said.

Parliament, which has more than 300 members, has a budget of $30 million for the entire year.