THE three MDC MPs who were recently locked out of their rented parliamentary constituency centres over non-payment of monthly rentals have not yet secured alternative offices.
Report by Silas Nkala
The three MPs — Moses Mzila Ndlovu (Bulilima West), Edward Mkhosi (Mangwe) and Bulilima-Mangwe Senator Lutho Tapela, all from the Welshman Ncube-led MDC, were kicked out of their rented premises which they used as constituency centres after Parliament accumulated a bill of $4 000 over three years. The properties belonged to a local businessman Physant Kikins.
Ndlovu yesterday confirmed they had not yet secured alternative office space, adding Parliament was equally mum over the issue.
“Our furniture is currently kept at the Bulilima Rural District Council offices,” Ndlovu said.
“They have promised to offer us a room temporarily, but our former landlord has not yet been paid.
“We fear that the property will end up being attached over the debt if Parliament does not act soon and that would incapacitate us.”
He said Kikins wrote several letters to the MPs which he also sent to Parliament concerning the debt, but nothing was done leading to their eviction.
Last month, acting Clerk of Parliament Kenneth Chokuda said Parliament had not received funds from Treasury to pay for all the Parliamentary constituency centres throughout the country.
However, Ndlovu yesterday dismissed the claim as false, saying their investigations had established that some centres were paid up.
“It is a lie. Other centres were paid up and we are continuing with investigations as to why only our offices have not been paid for. The problem is that property owners now fear to offer us accommodation being sceptical over our eviction, while some fear to be attacked during the election period if they accommodate us.”
Ndlovu said they suspected that non-payment of their rentals was a deliberate ploy to block them from interacting with the electorate as MDC MPs.
He said it was sad that the closure of the centre meant loss of jobs for their personal assistants.
Repeated attempts to contact Chokuda were fruitless yesterday.