LEGISLATORS from the last Parliament are divided over what course of action to take to recover their outstanding allowances estimated at between $10 000 and $20 000 each.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Last week, a group of former legislators threatened to take Parliament to court over the issue, but leader of the recently formed Ex-Legislators’ Forum Ward Nezi (MDC-T) told NewsDay yesterday that his grouping preferred roundtable negotiations with their former employer.
Nezi said the former legislators who threatened legal action were speaking in their individual capacities.
Parliament is also saddled with unpaid hotel bills accrued from the previous Seventh Session of Parliament amounting to over $750 000.
“We formed the Ex-Legislators’ Forum two months ago and as interim chairman I can confirm that we had a meeting and decided we will not take government to court as we believe in dialogue,” said Nezi.
“We appreciate that our government is facing financial challenges and the people who threatened to take the route of the courts are individual former MPs, not all of us,” he said.
A member of the Ex-Legislators’ Forum Takalani Prince Matibe said taking government to court might not yield early results as court cases normally take long to be solved.
“Negotiating with government is the best route because if we sue them, it can take five to 10 years before we finally get paid. It is better to be patient and negotiate with government so that they pay us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Parliament adjourned last Thursday to January 28 next year due to financial challenges.
According to MPs who spoke on condition of anonymity, they were happy that it was adjourned as they were financing themselves to attend sessions and it was also becoming difficult to secure hotel accommodation due to non-payment of debts.
Current MPs have not yet been paid their sitting allowances and allotted fuel coupons.