The Sunday Mail
At least 290 Members of Parliament who previously earned about US$1 700 monthly will now be earning just over US$800 per month plus fuel allowances for the next four years.The MPs who are not ministers and are set to acquire Ford Rangers under the Parliamentary vehicle loan scheme will have to forgo their US$75 daily sitting allowances until the end of the current parliament in 2018.
Only MPs who have constituencies far from the capital can take home larger amounts as they receive slightly higher transport allowances.
Last week, Government bought vehicles from Croco Motors for the 290 MPs on a US$35 000 loan facility for each of them.
The decision sparked public debate as critics argued that the loan, which is about US$12 million, was too expensive for the Government.
Initially, the MPs had proposed executive vehicles such as the Land Rover Discovery or Jeep Grand Cherokees, (which costs around US$100,000). These they could then purchase at book value at the end of their terms.
The legislators had also proposed that they be given an option to buy an additional vehicle of their own choice duty-free, be exempted from paying toll fees, and then get 100 litres of fuel weekly and further fuel for constituency or provincial work.
However, a decision was made to eat into the sitting allowances and buy the all-terrain vehicles instead.
When Parliament is in full session, it holds a maximum 12 sittings per month and on average MPs takes home US$900 in sitting allowances only.
Zimbabwe has one of the world’s biggest Parliaments with 350 members.
Previously, some legislators have called for a hike in their sitting allowances from US$75 to US$200.
Even legislators who reside in Harare wanted accommodation allowances when Parliament sits.