SENATORS yesterday pressed Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa to give them a timeline when he would pay their outstanding allowances, while chiefs also demanded to know when they would start receiving their reviewed allowances.
SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
The questions were raised during debate of the Appropriation Bill which was passed yesterday.
During the Second Reading Stage of the Bill, Chinamasa said an amount of $8,4 million was required to pay off the loan for MPs’ vehicle loan scheme with CBZ Bank.
According to Chinamasa, the $14,4 million loan schemes from CBZ which saw MPs accessing vehicles provided for $4,6 million leaving a balance of $9,8 million, and of this $8,4 million was required to be paid to CBZ by year end.
Chief Enos Musarurwa said: “Maybe you can liaise with the Local Government ministry to ensure chiefs are given vehicles as some of them travel on bicycles and also to increase their allowances to $800.”
Manicaland Senator Patrick Chitaka (MDC-T) added: “Chinamasa should also inform the House whether in the supplementary budget for the Parliament of Zimbabwe of $18 million, he has made allowances to pay the outstanding allowances for the Seventh Parliament and the current Parliament. Can he assure the House that the outstanding amount will be paid by year end?”
Senator Alice Chimbudzi (Mashonaland Central) demanded to know whether insurance for MPs’ vehicles would be paid by government.
Chinamasa said he wished to solve their problems as soon as possible but the country was financially constrained.
Meanwhile, Health and Child Care deputy minister Paul Chimedza yesterday told Parliament that the story that appeared in The Namibian Times claiming their Health minister Richard Kamwi had instructed Namibians not to visit Zimbabwe because of an Ebola scare was untrue.
The report claimed 100 people suspected of Ebola from West Africa had been quarantined in Zimbabwe.
“I would like to believe the Namibian minister was misquoted because his statements were unfortunate because people will cancel tourism trips because of these unfounded rumours. Zimbabwe has no Ebola and, for the record, there is no single case of Ebola or even a strong suspected case of Ebola.
Since Namibia is a friendly country, we will address this issue with them using proper procedures and get their minister to say there is no single case of Ebola in Zimbabwe,” Chimedza said.
On another issue in the National Assembly, Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu PF) claimed that he had been threatened for asking a question on whether MPs were allowed to get funding from foreign embassies.
However, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Mabel Chinomona refused to entertain Chinotimba, urging him to report the matter to police.