Member of Parliament for Umzingwane Constituency, Levi Mayihlome, has proposed special allowances for rural MPs whom he said they were disadvantaged in terms of privileges compared to their urban counterparts and in particular Harare legislators.
Mayihlome made the proposal in the August House Wednesday afternoon during the notices of privilege.
Notices of privilege relate to MPs’ rights.
“I rise on a point of privilege; the issue concerns rural constituency Members of Parliament,” said Mayihlome.
“Compared to their counterparts particularly Harare Constituency MPs, rural constituency
MPs have to travel up to 700kms every weekend to their constituencies. Friday and Sunday are travelling days to and fro Harare. So they only have one day per week to attend to their constituency issues whereas their counterparts, particularly in Harare are able to attend to their constituency issues on a daily basis.
He added: “It is my humble request that rural MPs be given a special allowance for this difference between the rural and urban constituencies. I so submit Honourable Speaker.”
In his response, Speaker of National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, acknowledged that the issue raised affected the rights and privileges of legislators before referring it to the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.
Meanwhile, on the same day Bikita South lawmaker, Josiah Sithole, disclosed that some banks were closing Constituency Development Fund (CDF) accounts on the basis that the accounts were inactive.
“Banks like CBZ are closing CDF accounts on the basis that their accounts are dormant and in the process when new disbursements are made they get into accounts that have been closed thereby delaying the monies that should go to the development of constituencies in good time,” said Sithole.
“I feel that these accounts should be given special treatment because they are not given money time and again but it only comes once in a while.”
In his response, Mudenda said: “Honourable Member, while that relates to your privileges, it is totally administrative. So it could be one or two Members who are affected. Therefore, you need to approach the Clerk of Parliament for assistance.”