Members of Parliament yesterday proposed their salaries be pegged at between $4 000 and $10 000 per month, claiming they are now the lowest paid legislators in Africa.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
The MPs currently earn a gross salary of $1 124 per month and $1 046 representation allowance.
The issue was raised during a workshop for MPs in Harare which was attended by Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda, President of the Senate Edna Madzongwe and Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda.
The code of conduct for MPs was also discussed at the workshop.
Chairperson of the Sub-committee on Legal and Procedural Services Nelson Chamisa (MDC-T) said MPs had two weeks to look at the draft laws to do with their conditions of service; the Parliamentary Salaries, Allowances and Benefit Act, and the Parliament Pensions Act to see where they could be amended to address their remuneration. He compared MPs’ salaries with other Parliaments.
In South Africa MPs earn approximately $7 000 per month, Kenya $10 000, Tanzania $7 266, Uganda $8 715 and Botswana at $2 000.
If amended, the Parliament Salaries, Allowances and Benefit Act will also ensure ministers do not double dip.
“We have replaced the issue of an independent commission deciding salaries for MPs and put the powers in a quasi-independent body, the Standing Rules and Orders Committee, as opposed to the Finance minister determining the lump sum of MPs and putting it in line with the rest of the civil service,” Chamisa said.
Other entitlements for MPs would be general allowances, housing allowances, committee attendance fees, constituency allowances and others.
Mudenda said MPs would get laptops and stands.
On the code of conduct, MPs will find themselves under scrutiny in terms of their behaviour, drinking habits, corruption, taking bribes, and even extra-marital affairs will be exposed. They will be required to fill in an asset register to be administered by the Clerk of Parliament where they will declare properties, business interests, family, freebies that they are given during visits to companies, fees paid to MPs for consultancy, trips and who has funded them, and even assets such as scotch carts and jewellery.