HomeLocal NewsAngry MPs threaten to wear overalls to Parly

Angry MPs threaten to wear overalls to Parly

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Members of Parliament last week threatened to attend Parliament dressed in overalls unless they were paid their outstanding allowances.

Debating the issue last Wednesday, the MPs said the outstanding allowances had demeaned their social status, adding they could no longer afford to wear expensive attire from the meagre income they were getting.

Musikavanhu MP Prosper Mutseyami (MDC-T) urged Parliament to revise its dress code to allow MPs to attend sessions in casual wear.

The MPs quizzed Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara over government’s failure to decently remunerate parliamentarians.

Government owes lawmakers sitting allowances of up to $30 000 each, dating as far back as 2008.

MPs said they could no longer afford dressing in suits and taking them for dry cleaning to maintain their social status.

“As the Deputy Prime Minister, is it possible that you change the policy temporarily so that MPs can dress anyhow whilst this issue is being looked into?” asked Mutseyami.

According to Parliamentary Standing Rules and Order number 46 (1), “every member shall appear in attire befitting the dignity of the House”.

Standing Order number 46 (2) continues: “If the Speaker or the chairperson, as the case may be, is of the opinion that the attire of a member present in the chamber during a sitting of the House is unsuitable or unbecoming to the dignity of the House, he or she may order that member to withdraw from the precincts of Parliament until such time as the member concerned is suitably dressed.”

Mutambara, however, told MPs that given the equality of the three arms of State — the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary — it was not going to be the responsibility of the Executive to make such a decision, but Parliament’s.

“It would be the collective decision of this House to modify the requirements of MPs’ dressing and so let us pursue it as Parliament and as a body that is in charge of its own destiny,” Mutambara said.

Last year, Uzumba MP Simbaneuta Mudarikwa threatened MPs would attend Parliament’s sessions dressed in overalls if their outstanding allowances remained unpaid.

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