LEGISLATORS continue to gobble at least $100 000 per week in taxpayers’ money on hotel accommodation, as Parliament takes long to carry out renovations at Quality International Hotel, which it acquired four years ago.
The expanded Parliament has 355 MPs, the majority of whom have to be accommodated in hotels each time the House is in session.
National Assembly Speaker, Jacob Mudenda, yesterday confirmed that the building was still idle, as government has not yet provided funding for its renovations.
“No works have been done as yet on the property. We have not done any computations on how much is being lost by not renovating and starting using the building,” he said.
The hotel is situated in the capital less than 300 metres from the Parliament Building along Nelson Mandela Avenue in the capital.
Mudenda said the renovations and refurbishment of the building were the responsibility of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ministry.
“The matter rests with the Local Government ministry, who are responsible for all public works and government buildings,” he said.
Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere was not readily available for comment yesterday.
The purchase of property was meant to be a stop gap measure, as the government has started the process of moving the capital to Mt Hampden some 20km north-west of the central business district.
The translocation of government departments and Parliament is being funded by a grant from the Chinese government.
The new site will have a composite parliamentary building accommodating the two chambers, MPs offices, a shopping centre, houses for presiding officers, MPs’ village and some other government departments.