By Shingirai Vambe
MT-Darwin, Rushinga Constituency legislator, Tendai Nyabani Laments before Parliament Tuesday Afternoon as accommodation woes continue to stifle Parliament business, Post On Sunday can Report.
“My issue is that I was chosen by the people of Rushinga to represent them in Parliament but what I have realised now is that I am no longer capable of representing them in Parliament because Rushinga is far away. I am not able to stay here in Harare. I just squeezed to come to Harare to inform you that there is no network in Rushinga yet here in Harare there is no accommodation,” said Nyabani.
Accommodation, fuel and allowances for members of the 9th Parliament have been a challenge since, with Norton Member of Parliament, Temba Mliswa quizzing why as legislator they burn midnight candle passing a budget that is never implemented.
Nyabani said it was better for the institution to allocate members fuel coupons to travel to and from their respective constituencies for parliament business.
“How am I going to represent the people of Rushinga? This is why I had to come here to inform you. If you are going to allocate fuel to people who stay around here, it is better for you to give me fuel to travel to and from Rushinga every day. I would rather do that on a daily basis. I thank you,” added Nyabani.
Earlier the Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Francis Mudenda had to approach the president, for the responsible ministry, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to release funds for accommodation and fuel for legislators.
Mudenda said the issue was brought to his attention on Monday after some legislators contacted him over the matter. He said he informed the Minister soon after his arrival from United Kingdom, but later could not get hold of him.
“I looked for the Hon. Minister, Mthuli Ncube and I could not get hold of him. Finally I got hold of the Permanent Secretary Mr. Guvamatanga who assured me that he was going to make some arrangements with the hotels and make sure that payment was done,” said Mudenda.
The argument raised by the Ministry of Finance is the inflationary rates used by hotels.
“The issue appears to be that the Ministry of Finance is looking at an average cost of rooms. The hotel groups are saying they are being charged inflationary charges in terms of supplies and therefore, they have raised their hotel rates,” said Mudenda.
However, the prices have not changed, but this is a confirmation as alleged by Mliswa that the ZWL rate has gone up to US$1: ZWL$2700-3000.
“I agree with Hon. Nyabani that some constituencies are difficult to communicate with and therefore, Members of Parliament are somehow forced to be in Harare to participate and fulfil their responsibilities”
“Now, if I do not get any satisfactory answer, then I will have to raise the issue with His Excellency the President. Last time I said that and they paid,” said Mudenda.
Last week, those who were booked at Pandari Hotel said it was not the best place for any person to stay, citing the dilapidated state and poor of service from the facility.
Regardless of the network and connectivity challenges the country has been facing for the past month, the Postal and Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) told the Post that 30% of the country has not been connected so far, pushing the infrastructure policy sharing with speed to mobile operators so that no place is left behind in terms of connectivity in Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, failure to adequately fund ministries has led to many legislators to be voted out due to lack of resource and development in the country.
Efforts to get a comment from the the Ministry of Finance, Permanent Secretary, George Guvamatanga were fruitless, as calls went unanswered.
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