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Former MP demands Merc, house

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Former Mhondoro MP Mavis Chidzonga is embroiled in a legal wrangle with the Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Commission (Zerc) over terminal benefits.
Chidzonga, who was chairperson of Zerc between 2005 and 2008, is demanding an assortment of benefits which include a Mercedes Benz and a sports utility vehicle.
She is also demanding outstanding holiday allowances, a holiday grant calculated at 15% of her annual basic salary, a house and a housing loan.
But Zerc, through the Energy and Power Development Ministry, has refused to give in to Chidzonga’s demands saying it had already paid her $20 000 which it said was “fair because the commission never made any money during your tenure of office”.
Chidzonga, a Zanu PF activist, was Mhondoro MP between 1995 and 2000, but joined Zerc after losing her seat to MDC-T’s Hilda Mafudze in the 2000 parliamentary elections.
Responding to Chidzonga’s letter of demand, the then Energy and Power Development Minister Elias Mudzuri said he felt the $20 000 she got from Zerc was “fair bearing in mind the benefits were pegged in the now defunct Zimbabwean dollars”.
“In respect of the vehicle, the reason why the vehicle was not purchased was because Zerc never made enough money during your tenure of office.
That position still subsists as I earlier indicated in my letter to you dated 24 April 2009,” Mudzuri said in a letter to Chidzonga’s lawyers. “Money cannot be found elsewhere including from Zesa, the only meaningful player in the electricity supply industry which is saddled with power imports debts of around $98 million over and above other long-term debts.”
Chidzonga’s lawyers, Bruce Mujeyi and Associates hit back saying contractual obligations could not be wished away by declaring Zerc did not make money during her tenure.
The commission has sought legal counsel from Harare lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, who said: “It would be against public policy considerations to splash money on luxury vehicles and holidays for the benefit of former employees whose performance did not enhance service delivery of basic services. The view we take of the matter is that Zerc would enjoy prospects of success on a number of the claims if litigation ensues and we would advise that no further payments be made to Dr Chidzonga.”
Mtetwa said Chidzonga was not entitled to two vehicles as she is claiming but one, an Isuzu KB300, which she used during her employment at Zerc.
She said Chidzonga’s claims for holiday allowances were covered under the “globular $20 000 already paid to her and which she unconditionally accepted”.

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