CONSTITUTIONAL and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga has told parliamentarians that they are legally entitled to sue Parliament over payment of their outstanding sitting allowances.
Matinenga made the remarks on Tuesday after Chipinge East MP Matthias Matewu Mlambo demanded to know if they could seek legal recourse if their benefits remained unpaid at the end of the Seventh Session which officially closed on Thursday.
He said parliamentarians would only be heard in court if they file their demands within the next three years.
The Seventh Parliament’s term officially ends on Saturday with most MPs claiming they were owed between $15 000 and $20 000 in outstanding sitting allowances.
“Should Parliament be closed on Friday, it means your monies should still be paid and if you have not been given all your monies, there is a period whereby you have to go and appeal for compensation of what you lost,” said Matinenga.
“It is entirely up to you that you have to make up your minds and approach the legal system so that you get your remuneration. You have to go to the courts and tell them that you are a losing MP, but all the same you have not been paid your benefits and therefore you need that money. You have to be paid. What it means is that you are owed that allowance or whatever it is until that date is extinguished by prescription in three years. If you do not sue by 2016 it means everything is over. You are owed by Zimbabwe in general and that liability can only be met if they make payment for it. So within the three years, and if you have not been paid, please take Parliament to court and I will defend you,” Matinenga said.