CHEGUTU West MP Dexter Nduna (Zanu PF) has claimed that MPs have been financially supporting Parliament activities out of their own pockets as Parliament continues to receive an inadequate budget from Treasury.
by VENERANDA LANGA
On Tuesday while contributing to the debate in the National Assembly on the code of conduct and ethics for MPs, Nduna claimed that Bindura North MP Kenneth Musanhi (Zanu PF) has been using his private planes to airlift MPs to Parliament functions outside Harare.
“Mr Speaker Sir, this cannot go unsaid. Musanhi is one of those MPs who are financing the business of Parliament, and who at the drop of a hat loans us his aircraft in order for us to undertake committee work on Transport and Infrastructure,” Nduna said.
“I thought this should be put on record and known, and bolster the notion that we cannot function as Parliament if we are not getting our own resources to deal with parliamentary issues.”
The motion was introduced by MDC-T vice-president Nelson Chamisa, who is also a member of the Parliament Standing Rules and Orders Committee, and if adopted will require MPs to declare their assets.
In an interview with NewsDay, Nduna said Musanhi, who is a businessman, owns planes among them a 16-seater. Nduna said whenever Parliament could not adequately support activities of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport, Musanhi had always availed his aircraft.
“I have also had to pay for fuel and used my cars to transport MPs whenever we have to embark on visits on Parliament duty,” Nduna claimed.
While contributing to the debate on the same motion, Musanhi said: “Here in Parliament, we have got virtually nothing that we are taking out of here except to come and debate. If you want us to declare debates, we can declare that, but not the assets that we did not get from here.”
Nkayi South MP Abednigo Bhebhe (MDC-T) said MPs made a mistake when they rushed to pass the new Standing Rules and Orders which have clause 49 (4) which stipulates that failure by an MP to declare their financial assets within 30 days of taking oath or presenting a false declaration shall constitute contempt of Parliament.
“We sit here and debate what we have already agreed to. We made a mistake by adopting this thing and we did not go through it, thoroughly investigating what it means to us,” Bhebhe said.