BY VENERANDA LANGA

FINANCE Minister Mthuli Ncube  has allocated $595 million for the procurement of Parliament buses and vehicles after MPs complained that the current fleet was dilapidated.

The buses were procured 18 years ago when President Emmerson Mnangagwa was Speaker of the National Assembly.

This was after Kambuzuma MP Willias Madzimure complained during debate on the Finance Bill that Parliament has lost its decorum as its buses were not fit for MPs.

Madzimure said that whenever MPs are dropped off from the buses when returning from Parliament trips, they look as if they were riding horses as they will be very sweaty because air conditioners were not working.

“The buses that we have are now 18 years old and their air conditioners are no longer working,” Madzimure said.

“I do not think that it is proper for such a high institution to continue using dilapidated transport.”

He added: “Imagine if that kind of a vehicle is taking an MP to the airport –don’t be surprised if a wheel suddenly falls off while that legislator is trying to catch a plane,” he said.

The Kambuzuma MP also said salaries Parliament staff needed to be improved. He said most Parliament staff were surviving on allowances from attending seminars and workshops to supplement their salaries.

“You cannot disclose the salaries that staff members at Parliament of Zimbabwe are getting to other nations as you will be ashamed. They are the lowest paid – even the Somalia Parliament pays much better than Zimbabwe,” he said.

In his response, Ncube said 11 pool vehicles will be procured for the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

“This is underway and it will be resolved in 2020, not 2021. In the 2021 budget, we have allocated $595 million for the procurement of vehicles,” Ncube said.

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