MPs yesterday left the National Assembly unhappy after promises to address their concerns over outstanding allowances, constituency development fund (CDF), and residential stands remained unfulfilled.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Chairperson of the Welfare Committee for MPs, Prosper Mutseyami, earlier asked Speaker of the National Assembly, Jacob Mudenda, to give MPs feedback on promises made by Finance minister Ignatius Chombo during the pre-budget seminar last week that the MPs would receive their outstanding sitting allowances and other demands by the end of last month.
Mudenda then told the MPs that a circular would be put in their pigeon holes by 3pm yesterday, confirming the transactions that they had requested, and with two provisos which concern stands.
“Other MPs have not indicated their stands preference, and that is outstanding in relation to that an individual gives the structure of the stands. It has been agreed that the Ministry of Local Government will not make you pay for the land value, but you only pay for the servicing of the stands, so that it brings down the cost of the stand.
“With regards to the CDF, Treasury has marshalled $5 million, which should begin to flow in your various accounts provided you open up those accounts and that you appoint a committee to take care of the fund, and most importantly, that the constitution of the fund is adopted by this House, and we appeal to MPs to expedite its adoption. If there is no CDF committee in your constituency, that will not happen,” Mudenda said.
At 3pm, MPs trooped out of the House to see the circular on their allowances, but to their surprise, the letters only contained promises that Parliament was still negotiating with the Finance and Local Government ministries.
A lump sum of $15 million is required to pay off the legislators’s outstanding sitting allowances with each of them entitled to another $50 000 to spearhead constituency development projects.